When you hear the words driving under the influence (DUI), most people think of someone behind the wheel of a car or truck on the road. But Michigan's laws cast a wider net for DUI than most, and you may be surprised to learn that you don't have to have a car or even a motor to get popped for operating a means of transportation while drunk or impaired. Let's dive into the more unconventional ways to find yourself on the wrong side of the law, even while enjoying a lazy float down a Michigan river.

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Summers in Michigan often mean gathering friends and heading to an open body of water. Some prefer to make a beeline for a river, load up some tubes with friends and coolers of alcoholic beverages, and enjoy a day going at a pace determined by the current. Did you know that drinking on a tube in a river or lake could result in a very costly citation?

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Tubing While Intoxicated: How to Get a Michigan DUI Without a Car
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Suppose you're tubing, kayaking, paddling, or pedaling on any Michigan body of water. In that case, you are technically piloting a vehicle, which puts you in the position of possibly receiving a boating under the influence (BUI) citation. Michigan's law that defines 'operating a vehicle' is very broad and leaves some watercraft in a gray area.

So, if you are tubing down a river while intoxicated and you encounter a police officer, my suggestion is to be polite and cooperate with whatever they ask. Chances are they're just checking to see if everyone is safe to be on the water. Still, if you behave in such a way that the responding officer decides to administer a breathalyzer test, and you blow over the legal limit of 0.08 in Michigan (0.02 if you're under 21), you could technically and legally receive a BUI.

More Ways to Get a DUI in Michigan Without a Car and Off the Road

Tubing While Intoxicated: How to Get a Michigan DUI Without a Car
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As long as we are on the subject of water, operating any motorized watercraft while intoxicated (Boating Under the Influence (BUI)) is a definite no-no in Michigan. This includes jet skis, speedboats, and even sailboats. Michigan's lakes and rivers are patrolled, and officers can pull you over if they suspect you're under the influence. A BUI carries similar penalties to a DUI, so it's best to stay sober when at the helm.

Related: What Are Michigan's Highway 'Crash Investigation Sites'?

Beyond the water, you can also get into trouble on land. Riding a bike or ATV while under the influence can lead to charges. Michigan law doesn't limit DUI to cars and trucks; it extends to any vehicle that can transport people or goods. So, while your bike might not have an engine, riding it drunk can still get you busted.

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