MOTOR VEHICLE, OPERATING
A person "operates" a
motor vehicle when, while in the vehicle, (he/she) intentionally does
any act or makes use of any mechanical or electrical agency that alone
or in sequence sets in motion the motive power of the vehicle.
This definition of
"operating a motor vehicle" originated in State v. Swift, 125
Conn. 399, 401-03 (1939). Swift established that "'operating'
encompasses a broader range of conduct than does 'driving.'" State
v. Haight, 279 Conn. 546, 551 (2007); State v. Angueira, 51
Conn. App. 782, 786 (1999). No intent to move the vehicle is required.
State v. Ducatt, 22 Conn. App. 88, 92, cert. denied, 217 Conn.
804 (1990); see also State v. Wiggs, 60 Conn. App. 551, 554
(2000) (intent to drive is not an element of operation).
Any step taken in the sequence necessary to
engage the motive power of a vehicle is sufficient to come within the
definition of "operating." State v. Cyr, 291 Conn. 49, 56-62
(2009) (starting the engine with a remote starter is sufficient); State v. Haight, supra, 279 Conn. 555-56
(inserting the key in the ignition is sufficient).