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Old 05-09-08, 03:18 PM   #1
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DWI for Walking a Bicycle

"Jeff Brown of Columbus, Ohio was arrested for DWI, spent four days in jail, and had his license suspended for six months when he refused to take a breath test after an officer confronted him on suspicion of operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Brown was walking his bicycle across his own front yard. Brown has since made a YouTube video detailing his ordeal."

http://reason.com/blog/show/126435.html
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Old 05-09-08, 05:16 PM   #2
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Wow, sucks to be him =(
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Old 05-09-08, 05:17 PM   #3
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"Jeff Brown of Columbus, Ohio was arrested for DWI, spent four days in jail, and had his license suspended for six months when he refused to take a breath test after an officer confronted him on suspicion of operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Brown was walking his bicycle across his own front yard. Brown has since made a YouTube video detailing his ordeal."

http://reason.com/blog/show/126435.html
How can that be a DWI? He wasn't operating the vehicle. It should be public intox.
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Old 05-09-08, 05:24 PM   #4
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Police state. Imperialist. Squashing liberties. Happens to most, now it's us.
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Old 05-09-08, 05:28 PM   #5
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I'm not that impressed with the video.
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Old 05-09-08, 05:37 PM   #6
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How can that be a DWI? He wasn't operating the vehicle. It should be public intox.
Shouldn't be anything. He was in his own yard.
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Old 05-09-08, 05:51 PM   #7
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There has to be more to the story.
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Old 05-09-08, 06:05 PM   #8
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Dammit people!
If you ain't gonna stay home to get drunk, have you never heard of a bush party?

Coppers don't want to follow you for 5 clicks into the woods.
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Old 05-09-08, 06:33 PM   #9
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I believe it. Some states have changed their DUII laws to that you don't actually have to *drive* a car to be charged. Merely "operating" the car is enough. "Operating" the car can mean sitting in the drivers seat with the ignition off. This logic would extend to walking a bicycle across your lawn.
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Old 05-09-08, 06:59 PM   #10
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Well, since he chose to argue against DUI laws in general, rather than argue that walking ones bicycle in their own yard did not constitute DUI; I have a feeling that what really happened was:

The cops saw him riding down the sidewalk at night without a headlight. He makes it to his yard before the cops stop him. He plays word games by stating that he was stopped while walking his bike in his yard, but he leaves out the prior part of the story of his riding on the public sidewalk.

Therefore, the idiot deserves both the ticket for no headlight as well as the DUI bust.
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Old 05-09-08, 07:27 PM   #11
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Police state. Imperialist. Squashing liberties. Happens to most, now it's us.

This quote its the nail right on the head.
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Old 05-09-08, 07:28 PM   #12
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To be honest, I've got no problem with Ohio's zero tolerance approach. If they want to cite people for pushing grocery carts while intoxicated, more power to them.

He really doesn't know much about putting together a valid argument. 13,000 people die in alcohol related incidences vs 36,000 contracting the flu. The big difference is alcohol related incidences are avoidable, the flu isn't.

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Old 05-09-08, 07:34 PM   #13
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Get drunk go to jail. DOn't like it, don't get drunk.
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Old 05-09-08, 09:01 PM   #14
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To be honest, I've got no problem with Ohio's zero tolerance approach. If they want to cite people for pushing grocery carts while intoxicated, more power to them.

He really doesn't know much about putting together a valid argument. 13,000 people die in alcohol related incidences vs 36,000 contracting the flu. The big difference is alcohol related incidences are avoidable, the flue isn't.
By that logic the penalty for being in public under the influence of the flu should be three times as harsh as that of DWI, since getting the flu is unavoidable but being in a position of passing it to others is avoidable.

There's more to the guy's story, we're only hearing one side so any conclusions are just speculation at this stage. Although, assuming that he was DWI on the bike on the road then the punishment is very disproportionate to the offense in terms of the risk he may have posed to others.

What really irks me is being lumped in with motor vehicles when it suits the autocentric state (i.e. when there's revenue to be made from fines, etc.), and being discriminated against as a legitimate vehicle when it may cost the state, like including appropriate cycling facilities when building roads. That smells of discrimination to me. Discrimination is discrimination, no different to being discriminated against along the lines of race or gender.
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Last edited by Cyclaholic; 05-09-08 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 05-09-08, 09:12 PM   #15
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I believe it. Some states have changed their DUII laws to that you don't actually have to *drive* a car to be charged. Merely "operating" the car is enough. "Operating" the car can mean sitting in the drivers seat with the ignition off. This logic would extend to walking a bicycle across your lawn.
I had a friend who got one for sitting in the drivers seat. She thought she was doing the right thing by waiting to drive, turns out you're better off driving: It would reduce the time spent in the vehicle, decreasing your chances of getting caught.
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Old 05-10-08, 08:26 AM   #16
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Well, since he chose to argue against DUI laws in general, rather than argue that walking ones bicycle in their own yard did not constitute DUI; I have a feeling that what really happened was:

The cops saw him riding down the sidewalk at night without a headlight. He makes it to his yard before the cops stop him. He plays word games by stating that he was stopped while walking his bike in his yard, but he leaves out the prior part of the story of his riding on the public sidewalk.

Therefore, the idiot deserves both the ticket for no headlight as well as the DUI bust.
That's pretty much the way I'm thinking as well.
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Old 05-10-08, 09:21 AM   #17
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There has to be more to the story.
I agree. If he was walking his bike across his front yard, why argue that the drunk driving laws are improper, just argue the facts, " I was not 'operating' the vehicle. There has to be more that we don't know.
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Old 05-10-08, 12:08 PM   #18
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Wow .... just wow. Big brother strikes again.

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Old 05-10-08, 01:50 PM   #19
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This whole idea of citing someone for DWI/DUI while riding a bicycle is wrong in my view. Society punishes DUI severely b/c an intoxicated driver is mishandling a very large object capable of high velocity and quite possibly will kill/maim many others. The risk (s)he poses to him/herself is almost incidental. If drunk drivers could, through some magic, be confined to only doing damage to themselves how many of us would really care?

Walk past the bloody body while musing upon Darwinistic natural selection......

Drunk cyclists do not pose those issues. Most likely they run into the back of parked vans b/c they forget to turn the handlebars. (Don't ask...) In fact, you could argue, if they're licensed drivers and own cars, they've shown responsibility by not taking their car when they know that they'll be drinking.

I'm not in favor of public drunkeness and if this guy had been arrested for that there'd be no issue. But, he didn't drive an automobile while drunk and thereby put many others at risk yet he's liable to the same sanctions as if he had. Hell, why not take the car?


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Old 05-10-08, 03:56 PM   #20
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To be honest, I've got no problem with Ohio's zero tolerance approach. If they want to cite people for pushing grocery carts while intoxicated, more power to them.

He really doesn't know much about putting together a valid argument. 13,000 people die in alcohol related incidences vs 36,000 contracting the flu. The big difference is alcohol related incidences are avoidable, the flue isn't.
Well I've scratched you off my next dinner party list. You'd probably sue me while stubbing your toe on the way out after two glasses of chardonnay.
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Old 05-10-08, 04:12 PM   #21
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Well I've scratched you off my next dinner party list. You'd probably sue me while stubbing your toe on the way out after two glasses of chardonnay.
Operating bi-leather vehicles while under the influence... tsk, tsk. You should be ashamed.


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Old 05-10-08, 04:15 PM   #22
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This whole idea of citing someone for DWI/DUI while riding a bicycle is wrong in my view. Society punishes DUI severely b/c an intoxicated driver is mishandling a very large object capable of high velocity and quite possibly will kill/maim many others. The risk (s)he poses to him/herself is almost incidental. If drunk drivers could, through some magic, be confined to only doing damage to themselves how many of us would really care?

Walk past the bloody body while musing upon Darwinistic natural selection......

Drunk cyclists do not pose those issues. Most likely they run into the back of parked vans b/c they forget to turn the handlebars. (Don't ask...) In fact, you could argue, if they're licensed drivers and own cars, they've shown responsibility by not taking their car when they know that they'll be drinking.

I'm not in favor of public drunkeness and if this guy had been arrested for that there'd be no issue. But, he didn't drive an automobile while drunk and thereby put many others at risk yet he's liable to the same sanctions as if he had. Hell, why not take the car?


+1

I tend to agree with this line of thinking. Plus, it could give cycling extra exposure as a utility. "If I can do this drunk stupid maybe I can do it while I'm sober?" Maybe we should even encourage cycling as a way to get to and from the bar. People want to go to the bar, we funded a powerful gang system when alcohol was illegal because people wanted to go to the bar. Let them go! Just not in a car.

Just a thought.
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Old 05-10-08, 05:44 PM   #23
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Well, since he chose to argue against DUI laws in general, rather than argue that walking ones bicycle in their own yard did not constitute DUI; I have a feeling that what really happened was:

The cops saw him riding down the sidewalk at night without a headlight. He makes it to his yard before the cops stop him. He plays word games by stating that he was stopped while walking his bike in his yard, but he leaves out the prior part of the story of his riding on the public sidewalk.

Therefore, the idiot deserves both the ticket for no headlight as well as the DUI bust.
And if we are indulging in pure speculation:

He was drunk, he mouthed off to the cops "Screw you I can do whatever I want on my private property, this is 'Merika!" Which the cops didn't like and decided to throw the book at him for being a prick.
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Old 05-10-08, 08:04 PM   #24
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There has to be more to the story.
+1.

Why is the video attacking DUI laws in general? If I were arrested for trying to put my bike in the garage (after I left it in front of the house, went in, had a few beers, then came out again,) I'd fight my case on that basis. No cop I know would waste their time on such a useless arrest.

I'm not sure a drunk cyclist poses the same threat a drunk driver poses. A drunk cyclist poses the worst danger to himself. A simple fall could be very bad.

But challenging drunk driving enforcement is not good for cyclists. Motorists who drive drunk pose a danger to us. The original post seems like trolling for sympathy amongst cyclists, when we should be standing together against this threat.

IMO.
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Old 05-10-08, 08:18 PM   #25
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I wonder if I can get a DWI for being on bikeforums.net and drinking. If so, I might be in trouble... shhhsnort blblbl...hic.

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