Q & A: OVI and underage consumption...... no keys... no vehicle....in a Canoe

Question:   18 year old on a canoe trip with 2 friends. veryone was drinking so the underage consumption is valid. However, the person charged with the OVI was the person in the middle of the canoe that was not rowing.  The person charged with the OVI had no keys on him nor was it his vehicle that the police found at the end of the trip nor was he driving.   How can the police charge only one person with an OVI if he was not operating the canoe or the car and had not keys on him (since it wasn't his car).   Luckily one of the friends in the canoe is willing to go testify to all of that.

Answer:  You correctly point out that the Police have to prove operation, to prove operating under the influence. Canoes don't have keys, as far as I know, so it would be a reasonable inference that the person rowing was "operating" the vehicle.  I would definitely hire a lawyer and challenge the Prosecutor to prove who was operating (rowing) the canoe. Often, Police make judgments about who is guilty which turn out to be incorrect.

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