WHITEHALL - In case you were wondering, a motorized cooler on wheels is a motor vehicle under state law.
A Whitehall man learned that on Memorial Day, when he was charged with driving while intoxicated after police pulled him over for swerving and driving on the sidewalk on a four-wheeled, motorized cooler known as a "Cruzin Cooler."
Leslie J. "Bomber" Marr, 57, could face felony DWI and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle charges because of prior arrests and convictions in drinking-and-driving cases, said Whitehall Police Chief Richard LaChapelle.
The electricity-powered Cruzin Cooler that Marr was riding contained 14 beers, the chief said.
LaChapelle said Whitehall Police Patrolman Andrew Mija stopped Marr at about 7:45 p.m. after the officer saw Marr swerving and preparing to cross William Street on the motorized cooler.
The machine has handlebars, and its operator sits on a seat atop the cooler, LaChapelle said.
"We were told it can do up to 12 mph," the chief said.
Marr had apparently just left the nearby American Legion Post 83, but it was unclear where he was going, LaChapelle said. He was not headed toward his Lafayette Street home, and he refused to take a breath test, the chief said.
Marr had apparently been working at the American Legion post earlier in the day, according to police.
Marr was charged with misdemeanor counts of DWI and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and also was cited for operating an uninsured motor vehicle.
He was released pending prosecution in Whitehall Village Court.
The Cruzin Cooler was seized by police, the chief said.
No listed phone number for Marr could be found Monday.
Washington County District Attorney Kevin Kortright said the scooter is considered a motor vehicle under state law.
"They tell us he's been riding around town on that cooler for years," Kortright said. "You can't cruise around on your cooler if you're intoxicated."
Cruzin Coolers generally run on 300-watt to 500-watt motors similar to those used on other motorized scooters, but there are some models that run on gasoline.
The company's Web site boasts the vehicles can travel up to 13 mph and pull up to 400 pounds. Price-wise, they begin at about $300.
They are legal in New York, according to the company's Web site.