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  1. #1
    Senior Member filtersweep's Avatar
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    Legal to Ride Drunk in your state?

    scooter DUI

    Per the article:

    The Appeals Court upheld his conviction, ruling that one may drive "horses, bicycles, or lawnmowers" as well as Segways and wheelchairs on public roads while drunk, but not scooters.
    I am not advocating any such behavior, but I was surprised to read this.

  2. #2
    Airborne Titanium EricDJ's Avatar
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    "The Appeals Court upheld his conviction, ruling that one may drive "horses, bicycles, or lawnmowers" as well as Segways and wheelchairs on public roads while drunk, but not scooters. "

    Holy crap, I can't beleive these are legal.

  3. #3
    Immoderator KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    Well, I kind of disagree with horses, but for those other examples, the only person you'll most likely hurt is yourself. A lot of people here equate driving a car with riding drunk, but I find that intellectually dishonest from a liability standpoint.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bikeforums
    Your rights end where another poster's feelings begin.

  4. #4
    imminent danger
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    I was more surprised to discover that bicycles are not considered vehicles in NC. I was under the impression that vehicle status was unilateral to the whole of the US. Is there a definitive lists of states that do not classify bicycles as vehicles? It certainly appears that there is a case for federal regulation here.

    It does logically follow that one cannot be drunk in charge of a vehicle if by law one is not in charge of a vehicle at all.

  5. #5
    J E R S E Y S B E S T Jerseysbest's Avatar
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    I've heard of people getting in trouble around here for riding their bike drunk, but I have no first hand knowledge of it happening.

    Perhaps young kids were drinking and riding the scooter around like idiots and this allows them to punish them for more then just underage drinking?

    You'd think a horse would be a little dangerous with a drunk at the reigns, at least more so then a scooter. And a lawnmower? Do these laws apply to you even if you're on your own property? Well, at least I still can get drunk and mow the lawn.

  6. #6
    |+|+|+|+|+|+| * jack *'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Seldom Kill
    I was more surprised to discover that bicycles are not considered vehicles in NC. <snip>
    Not true. Bicycles are defined as vehicles in the NC vehicle code, but as the definition pertains to 'Operating a Vehicle while Impaired', bicycles are in fact excluded from the list.

    We had a thread on this a while ago, where we actually cite the legal definitions: Drunken Cycling?

    example: (e) Exception. – Notwithstanding the definition of "vehicle" pursuant to G.S. 20‑4.01(49)*, for purposes of this section the word "vehicle" does not include a horse, bicycle, or lawnmower. (1983, c. 435, s. 24; 1989, c. 711, s. 2; 1993, c. 285, s. 1.)

  7. #7
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Seldom Kill
    I was more surprised to discover that bicycles are not considered vehicles in NC.
    They are. I looked up the law. I emailed the reporter but haven't heard back.

    http://www.ncdot.org/transit/bicycle...aws_intro.html
    "Bicycles are legally defined as vehicles in North Carolina."

  8. #8
    blithering idiot jhota's Avatar
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    i would think a horse would be the "safest" thing to drive drunk - it can steer itself, and is usually smart enough not to run into or over anything.

  9. #9
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    Drunk driving laws apply to bicycles in Ohio. Drunk driving laws also apply on private property. So, I think you could be convicted of DUI if you rode drunk on your trainer in your basement. Of course, that leaves open the question of why anyone would want to ride drunk on a trainer in the basement.

  10. #10
    Vegan Biker vegcrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krispistoferson
    Well, I kind of disagree with horses, but for those other examples, the only person you'll most likely hurt is yourself.
    Just make sure the horse isn't drunk.

    You can cause serious accidents even if you're just walking. Step out in front of a car, they swerve, hit an oncoming car....... I believe Calif. has laws about public drunkenness in general, regardless of what "vehicle" you're using.
    "Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine." -Henry David Thoreau

  11. #11
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhota
    i would think a horse would be the "safest" thing to drive drunk - it can steer itself, and is usually smart enough not to run into or over anything.
    That depends a LOT on the horse. This is true for the nags that you might ride at rental places or summer camps. It is not true of spirited animals, which is what most horse owners have. These can be rather skitish and if your reflexes are off even a little you will not be able to control the animal.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    In California bikes are vehicles AND are drunk riding is explicitly applicable to bikes.

    Personally I think drunk riding/driving laws should apply to anything that could otherwise be opperated legally as a vehicle. It does not matter that something is small enough to not directly cause damage or death. Anything on the road can do this indirectly, cars swerving to miss that drunken cyclist are apt to hit other things.

    It really amazes me that lawn mowers were exempt. They would seem to be just about the most dangerous thing one could find.

  13. #13
    Bent_Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by krispistoferson
    Well, I kind of disagree with horses, but for those other examples, the only person you'll most likely hurt is yourself. A lot of people here equate driving a car with riding drunk, but I find that intellectually dishonest from a liability standpoint.
    The worst injuries I ever had I sustained while riding my bike drunk. It was fun until I crashed.

    OTOH, I can ride stoned on pot forever. I fact it seems to put me more in the riding zone. Been doing it for 30 years.

    On the Markleeville Death Ride, my motto is "smoke two joints at the top of every pass, and then I smoke two more". Finished the 129 mile 5 pass ride 11 times, and with a smile on my face.
    http://www.deathride.com/

  14. #14
    Senior Member jimmy_jazz's Avatar
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    Bicycles are legally vehicles in Georgia, yet the state code specifically exempts them from the DUI laws.

  15. #15
    Vegan Biker vegcrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scarry
    my motto is "smoke two joints at the top of every pass, and then I smoke two more".
    I drove stoned once by accident (didn't realize I was under effect until I kept forgetting where I was; never had magic cookies before). Not fun at all. Never doing that again. I can't imagine doing that on a bike.
    "Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine." -Henry David Thoreau

  16. #16
    Dog is my copilot. GGDub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scarry
    The worst injuries I ever had I sustained while riding my bike drunk. It was fun until I crashed.

    OTOH, I can ride stoned on pot forever. I fact it seems to put me more in the riding zone. Been doing it for 30 years.

    On the Markleeville Death Ride, my motto is "smoke two joints at the top of every pass, and then I smoke two more". Finished the 129 mile 5 pass ride 11 times, and with a smile on my face.
    http://www.deathride.com/
    You mean you were doped for the death ride? Nyuk, Nyuk
    Rubber Side Down

  17. #17
    GN BIKN
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    Bicycles are legally defined as vehicles here in Oregon (and, paradoxically, are in fact defined as "motor vehicles" for legal purposes - I think this is so the legislature wouldn't have to rewrite the entire Motor Vehicle Code when they passed the Bicycle Bill back in the '70s). In any event, bikes are definitely not exempted from our DUII law.
    I like bike lanes. I also practice VC when I'm not in them.

  18. #18
    Bent_Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by vegcrow
    I drove stoned once by accident (didn't realize I was under effect until I kept forgetting where I was; never had magic cookies before). Not fun at all. Never doing that again. I can't imagine doing that on a bike.
    Only to be done by trained professionals.

  19. #19
    Warning:Mild Peril Treespeed's Avatar
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    Legal to ride drunk in Washington State. I was a messenger in Seattle when that one was passed. Good times.
    Non semper erit aestas.

  20. #20
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    In Texas, DWI laws apply to "motor vehicles". However, the definition of "motor vehicle" for the purpose of this purpose is defined as:

    ...a device in, on, or by which a person or property is or may be transported or drawn on a highway, except a device used exclusively on stationary rails or tracks.
    which could possibly be interpreted to include bicycles.

    However, even if the above does not apply to cyclists, Texas has a law against "public intoxication" that applies when a person is drunk enough to be a danger to himself or others. A cop could arrest you for P.I. if you were riding a bike drunk.

  21. #21
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    ....you could probably ride with an open container of beer in your bottle cage in Texas, as long as you don't appear intoxicated (as is -was? the case with open containers in TX)

    I saw a cowboy get a ticket for riding a horse while drunk. Actually, pulled off the horse, beaten with nightclubs by deputies, and arrested. Not just a ticket. In Eureka, Nevada, for anyone who knows Highway 50, the loneliest road in America. I don't remember what they did with the horse, probably let it find its own way home...


    I've never gotten a ticket while riding intoxicated, but got questioned once in my teenage years by police while bike riding on acid. They thought my behavior looked a little odd, but during questioning they didn't figure it out (whew, it was tough!)


    Most of my biking while drunk has been uneventful, but have also messed myself up rightously while biking drunk. Like, head contusions, concussions, etc.

    Usually, i just noticed how many of the roads seemed to have curbs extending well into the traffic lane.-least that's what it seemed like while frequently doing rolling crashes into the median strips, sometimes more than once per ride....
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    Seems crazy to me. I think there was a case reported on this forum earlier this year about a woman who was riding while both drunk and under the influence of drugs who caused a crash which killed one or more occupants of a motor vehicle.

  23. #23
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist
    ....you could probably ride with an open container of beer in your bottle cage in Texas, as long as you don't appear intoxicated (as is -was? the case with open containers in TX)
    In Texas it used to be legal to drink while driving - so long as you were not drunk. Wasn't that long ago either.

  24. #24
    Fat Guy in Bike Shorts! manual_overide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daily Commute
    why anyone would want to ride drunk on a trainer in the basement.
    Possible cure for trainer boredom found?

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