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  • Patrick Thomas Santos, Esq.

New California Laws: Hooverboards - DUI Traps, Helmets, Age Restrictions, and More.


No April fooling, it is estimated that in the next two years, more words will be written on Twitter than in all the books printed - - ever. That’s around half a billion mini messages a day. You live in a world where technology evolves at outrageous speeds, and as you continue to embrace new technologies, the law will always be playing a game of catch-up.

When it comes to the Hooverboard, however, California law moved rather quickly. By now, almost everyone has seen what appear to be floating humans (hopefully not on the 405). Here’s what you might not know:

Hooverboard |aka “Electrically Motorized Board"

California’s lawmakers call the Hooverboard an “electrically motorized board" defined as “any wheeled device” that a person stands upon “when riding” that is “designed to transport only one person.” (Cal. Veh. Cd. § 313.5.)

16 Years of Age; Must Wear Helmet

Attention parents, a hooverboard shall be operated only by a person who is 16 years of age or older (Cal. Veh. Cd. § 21291) and a person “shall not operate” a hooverboard unless that person is wearing a “properly fitted and fastened” bicycle helmet. (Cal. Veh. Cd. § 21292.)

Speeding Ticket on Your Hooverboard?!

Every Hooverboard operated upon a highway during darkness need forward-facing lights and reflectors (Cal. Veh. Cd. § 21292), provided of course the highway is designated with a speed limit of 35 mph or less, and even then, never at a speed in excess of 15 mph. (Cal. Veh. Cd. § 21294.)

Hooverboarding While Under the Influence ("HUI")

Perhaps most surprising:

“It is unlawful to operate an electrically motorized board upon a highway while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or any drug…”

(Cal. Veh. Cd. § 21296) (emph. added).

Yes, you can get a DUI on your Hooverboard! But as the statute makes clear, you must be operating yours “upon a highway.” But be careful, because California defines that to “include[s] street[s].” (Cal. Veh. Cd. § 360.)

We're looking forward to defending our first Hooverboard DUI. Seriously though, don’t Hooverboard while drinking, it is dangerous. If you simply must, never upon a street or highway. For now, the sidewalk is okay, but you may still be arrested for being drunk in public.

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Patrick Thomas Santos is a California attorney.

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