Here’s something to consider: if you are operating a motor vehicle on private property, and you’ve been drinking, should that be considered DUI? What if you’re on a racetrack that is closed to the general public?
Armchair attorneys across the country are currently discussing the above question after the report that a circle-track racer was arrested for DUI during a race.
According to Anderson Police Department public information officer, Joel Sandefur, [the driver] was black-flagged and forced out of a race Saturday night but re-entered the race where he intentionally crashed into another driver. No injuries were reported.
Sandefur said officers smelled alcohol on Lathan’s breath after the race and several witnesses reportedly saw him drinking between races.
Let me make one thing, as they say, perfectly clear: as a racer with some circle-track experience, I find the idea of racing an automobile impaired by any substance to be completely beneath contempt. I won’t line up on the grid next to someone who is obviously drunk and nor should anyone else. This moron should be suspended for a year or longer from every sanction in the country.
With that said: when you lose your temper and run into someone during a race you aren’t charged with assault. When you crash your race car you aren’t charged with failure to control. If you short-brake someone going into the Esses at Mid-Ohio you aren’t charged with six-point reckless op. And, of course, there’s no penalty for speeding on a track. These things are handled within the event, the same way that my son isn’t charged with assault for punching someone in the face during his Tae Kwon Do class. So why is driving drunk around a racetrack subject to official intervention?
The answer apparently depends on the state in which the incident happens. According to Breitbart’s Lawyers Of The Internet, Indiana has no exemption for OMVI on private property. (Our volunteer counsel, Curvy McLegalbriefs, submitted this story for review but offered no opinion on the law in Indiana.) There’s something scary about that. If you want to get drunk and drive a tractor around your back yard, shouldn’t that be legal? These aren’t street-legal cars and this event was closed to the public in the sense that you can’t just show up and drive. Where should the line be drawn?