Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 04-23-10, 07:17 AM   #1
Elkhound
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Charleston, WV
Bikes: Trek Mountaineer modified with a NuVinci; Montegue Paratrooper folding mountain bike; Greenspeed recumbent; Surly Big Dummy with Stokemonkey
Posts: 1,768
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
DC Cyclist's Drunk Driving Conviction Upheld

http://legaltimes.typepad.com/blt/20...-and-bike.html
Elkhound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-10, 07:28 AM   #2
apricissimus 
L T X B O M P F A N S R
 
apricissimus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Malden, MA
Bikes: Bianchi Volpe, Bianchi San Jose, Redline 925
Posts: 2,334
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 859 Post(s)
If the cyclist hadn't almost hit somebody, would he have been pulled over? I hope not. Overall I'd rather see drunks on bikes than in cars.
apricissimus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-10, 07:38 AM   #3
jamesss
jamesss
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: charleston, SC
Bikes: Schwinn World Sport
Posts: 103
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
How long will his biking license be suspended?
jamesss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-10, 10:12 AM   #4
lubes17319
Chronic 1st-timer
 
lubes17319's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Lakehood, CO
Bikes: ...take me places.
Posts: 1,137
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesss View Post
How long will his biking license be suspended?
90 days.......during which he will be forced to commute by car.
lubes17319 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-10, 10:39 AM   #5
Standalone 
babylon by bike
 
Standalone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: New Haven, CT, USA
Bikes: Road, Cargo, Tandem, Etc.
Posts: 3,116
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Equal rights, equal responsibilities.

I think that there should be modifications to the severity of the law in proportion to the lesser risk that a bicycle poses to pedestrians, other cyclists, and motorists.

Somebody nails me with a car and puts me in the hospital-- throw the book at them. Someone nails me with a bike and breaks a bone-- punish them accordingly.

I don't want advocacy to equal total impunity for bikes. Riding a bike when you're THAT drunk is a lesser of two evils, but still an evil.
__________________
The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets. Christopher Morley
Standalone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-10, 11:27 AM   #6
Seattle Forrest
Senior Member
 
Seattle Forrest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Bikes:
Posts: 14,587
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1497 Post(s)
Standalone is 100 % on the mark.

I had a friend who liked to get roaring drunk, and then bike down the hill. One night he woke up in the back of a jeep, with a torn plastic back window. He never would have crashed if he'd had his wits about him. And while he got the bruises, the people who owned the jeep weren't thrilled. The bottom line is that riding a bike when you're very drunk is a bad idea, and it puts more than just the rider at risk, so it's other peoples' business as well. And, as Standalone pointed out, it puts other people ( and their property ) at much less risk than driving a car drunk, so it should be treated much less severely by the law.
Seattle Forrest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-10, 12:20 PM   #7
Dchiefransom
Senior Member
 
Dchiefransom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Newark, CA. San Francisco Bay Area
Bikes:
Posts: 6,205
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
The risk of going to court is not just that a cyclist can lose, but that precedent will be set.
__________________
Silver Eagle Pilot
Dchiefransom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-10, 01:20 PM   #8
pueblonative
Senior Member
 
pueblonative's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Pueblo, CO
Bikes: Roadmaster 26 Men's Mountain Bike
Posts: 249
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't think I buy the argument that this guy put people in any less danger than if he had been on a car. First off, if you read the case he nearly ran down a young child. Maybe there's some difference between getting run down by a car vs a bike to that child, but I'm not sure it's worth that much. Secondly, supposing the fool had put his bike in traffic and forced cars to swerve around him, possibly causing a crash that killed somebody.

I do have one question, however. In the case, the police told the bicyclist to "move on". Did they honestly think that this drunk would have gotten off and walked his car all the way home, wherever that was? That doesn't mitigate the bicyclist's responsibility, but it's just something to wonder about.
pueblonative is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-10, 01:36 PM   #9
zac
Just ride
 
zac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Lowell, MA
Bikes: I just ride them, they own me.
Posts: 874
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It's not that a precedent would be set, and we can debate the public policy issue ad nauseam.

The appeal of this case simply turned on the DC's wording of their OUI statue. The plain wording is "whoever...upon a way...operates a vehicle...while under the influence..." In DC bicycles are "vehicles." This was the sole issue before the appellate court.

Not all jurisdictions OUI statues are so worded. Many are limited to "motor vehicles" and as such, bicycles are generally excluded, unless otherwise specifically included.

Obviously you should know the law of the state that you are riding in.

Generally, the great majority of LEOs are not going to proceed in this manner and make an OUI/DWI arrest for drunk cycling, in the jurisdictions in which it is allowed. I think the key factor here was the fact that the bicycle rider almost caused injury. He also could have been a well known party to the police and they basically just had had it with him too. While I am not a fan of selective enforcement of laws, there are many circumstances where the police exercise restraint and choose not to issue an arrest/complaint for an incident.

BTW, IAAL, but not yours, and the above is not legal advice
zac
zac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-10, 01:46 PM   #10
moleman76
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: western Washington
Bikes: Stella
Posts: 604
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It's a good precedent, as far as it goes in "elevating" bikes in the universe of all vehicles.

And, certainly not all drunk drivers of motor vehicles are spotted and cited, just like many drunk cyclists are not detected / cited.
moleman76 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-10, 01:52 PM   #11
I-Like-To-Bike
Been Around Awhile
 
I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Burlington Iowa
Bikes: Vaterland and Ragazzi
Posts: 24,114
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by pueblonative View Post
I don't think I buy the argument that this guy put people in any less danger than if he had been on a car. First off, if you read the case he nearly ran down a young child. Maybe there's some difference between getting run down by a car vs a bike to that child, but I'm not sure it's worth that much. Secondly, supposing the fool had put his bike in traffic and forced cars to swerve around him, possibly causing a crash that killed somebody.
You aren't sure of the difference in the likely damage to the human body (no matter what its size) between being struck by a bicycle or a car?

That would explain your bringing up that tired old wives tale of swerving motor cars crashing wily-nilly avoiding a wayward cyclist. Yes it could happen, anything could happen; try and stop supposing and deal with reality.
I-Like-To-Bike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-10, 01:54 PM   #12
Elkhound
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Charleston, WV
Bikes: Trek Mountaineer modified with a NuVinci; Montegue Paratrooper folding mountain bike; Greenspeed recumbent; Surly Big Dummy with Stokemonkey
Posts: 1,768
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Even if the law in your state only makes DUI a motor vehical offense, there are still laws against public intoxication and drunk & disorderly which could be applicable to a drunken cyclist.
Elkhound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-10, 01:55 PM   #13
Elkhound
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Charleston, WV
Bikes: Trek Mountaineer modified with a NuVinci; Montegue Paratrooper folding mountain bike; Greenspeed recumbent; Surly Big Dummy with Stokemonkey
Posts: 1,768
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
That would explain your bringing up that tired old wives tale of swerving motor cars crashing wily-nilly avoiding a wayward cyclist. Yes it could happen, anything could happen; try and stop supposing and deal with reality.
I've seen it happen.
Elkhound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-10, 02:12 PM   #14
zac
Just ride
 
zac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Lowell, MA
Bikes: I just ride them, they own me.
Posts: 874
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elkhound View Post
Even if the law in your state only makes DUI a motor vehical offense, there are still laws against public intoxication and drunk & disorderly which could be applicable to a drunken cyclist.
It's funny you should mention those. Most statutes dealing with public "drunkenness/intoxication" and "drunk & disorderly" have been ruled unconstitutional, at least with respect to the criminal aspect as it applies to being intoxicated. Despite that, most are still on the books and codified by statute.

Generally you can be placed into what is called a protective custody and released promptly to a responsible party, or detained until you are no longer an imminent danger to yourself or others.

HTH
zac
zac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-10, 08:00 PM   #15
dobber
Perineal Pressurized
 
dobber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: In Ebritated
Bikes:
Posts: 6,557
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
And, as Standalone pointed out, it puts other people ( and their property ) at much less risk than driving a car drunk, so it should be treated much less severely by the law.
That is of course until you fatally injure someone. If you're operating a vehicle under the influence it should make no difference whether its a bike, a boat or a car.

There can be no zero tolerance when exceptions are made. Is a shooting less of a shooting if a smaller caliber weapon is used? Is a robbery less of a crime if only your watch was taken?
__________________
This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.
dobber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-10, 09:11 PM   #16
rustybrown
Senior Member
 
rustybrown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: DeSouf
Bikes:
Posts: 2,145
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by dobber View Post
That is of course until you fatally injure someone. If you're operating a vehicle under the influence it should make no difference whether its a bike, a boat or a car.

There can be no zero tolerance when exceptions are made. Is a shooting less of a shooting if a smaller caliber weapon is used? Is a robbery less of a crime if only your watch was taken?
You're reaching. It's simply a bicycle.

Grand theft > Petit theft

Exceptions are made for judicial diligence. Sometimes for the better, most of the time for the worst.

Last edited by rustybrown; 04-24-10 at 09:28 PM. Reason: Expounding
rustybrown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-10, 11:02 PM   #17
Standalone 
babylon by bike
 
Standalone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: New Haven, CT, USA
Bikes: Road, Cargo, Tandem, Etc.
Posts: 3,116
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by dobber View Post
That is of course until you fatally injure someone. If you're operating a vehicle under the influence it should make no difference whether its a bike, a boat or a car.

There can be no zero tolerance when exceptions are made. Is a shooting less of a shooting if a smaller caliber weapon is used? Is a robbery less of a crime if only your watch was taken?
Relativism can of course be overdone.

But at six foot four, and given just the right trajectory and stature/age of the "victim," I could prove fatal to someone just by *walking* while extremely intoxicated.
__________________
The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets. Christopher Morley
Standalone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-10, 11:07 PM   #18
pueblonative
Senior Member
 
pueblonative's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Pueblo, CO
Bikes: Roadmaster 26 Men's Mountain Bike
Posts: 249
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by rustybrown View Post
You're reaching. It's simply a bicycle.

Grand theft > Petit theft

If somebody steals my bicycle and it's my only form of transportation, I don't think I'm gonna look to well on the police saying "well, it's simply a bicycle."


BTW, for those interested here's the legal opinion on the case:

http://www.leagle.com/unsecure/page....cco20100422092
pueblonative is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-10, 02:51 AM   #19
filtersweep
Senior Member
 
filtersweep's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 2,615
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yeah.... there is a veritable blood bath on the roads in the wake of drunken cyclists.

What a joke this all is--- considering how lenient the laws are toward intoxicated motorists in the US. This should just fall under public intox.
filtersweep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-10, 06:04 AM   #20
BarracksSi
Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped.
 
BarracksSi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Bikes: Some bikes. Hell, they're all the same, ain't they?
Posts: 13,858
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well, we've advocated being treated as vehicles, and we got our laws passed saying as much.

The "bikes are vehicles" bed is made, so we have to lay down in it.
BarracksSi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-10, 06:20 AM   #21
Brontide
DON'T PANIC!
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Capital District, NY
Bikes: Fuji Absolute 3.0
Posts: 497
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think what would serve the needs of everyone would be to make traffic offenses penalty based on tonnage and passengers. This would make sure to punish those with the most dangerous vehicles *to others* more than those that are just more dangerous to themselves.
Brontide is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-10, 07:08 AM   #22
pueblonative
Senior Member
 
pueblonative's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Pueblo, CO
Bikes: Roadmaster 26 Men's Mountain Bike
Posts: 249
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brontide View Post
I think what would serve the needs of everyone would be to make traffic offenses penalty based on tonnage and passengers. This would make sure to punish those with the most dangerous vehicles *to others* more than those that are just more dangerous to themselves.
So, in your mind somebody riding a motorized scooter hammered is worse than somebody doing the same in a truck?
pueblonative is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-10, 07:50 AM   #23
Chris516
24-Speed Machine
 
Chris516's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Wash. Grove, MD
Bikes: 2003 Specialized Allez 24-Speed Road Bike
Posts: 6,054
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elkhound View Post
That story reminded me of an incident in 2007 where, I was stopped by a cop for 'weaving'. He thought I was drinking.

I was just going so slow that I started weaving to keep my balance. I really thought I was going to get a ticket.
Chris516 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-10, 08:14 AM   #24
pueblonative
Senior Member
 
pueblonative's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Pueblo, CO
Bikes: Roadmaster 26 Men's Mountain Bike
Posts: 249
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
That story reminded me of an incident in 2007 where, I was stopped by a cop for 'weaving'. He thought I was drinking.

I was just going so slow that I started weaving to keep my balance. I really thought I was going to get a ticket.
I know the standards for OUI/DUI are pretty low (contrary to popular belief, the police CAN arrest you for those if you are under the legal limit yet still above .00) but if he's gonna write you a ticket for drinking and you hadn't wouldn't a breathalyzer or a blood test clear that up? Or was it just the typical "rayful of sunshine" cop demeanor and attitude that got you scared?
pueblonative is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-10, 08:50 AM   #25
Brontide
DON'T PANIC!
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Capital District, NY
Bikes: Fuji Absolute 3.0
Posts: 497
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by pueblonative View Post
So, in your mind somebody riding a motorized scooter hammered is worse than somebody doing the same in a truck?
Scooter = a few hundred pounds, truck = a few thousand pounds... therefore the truck would be more dangerous to others and should receive a harsher punishment. The more momentum you posses the larger your actions pose a risk to others.

OTOH, if the scooter had a passenger then they should also receive a harsher punishment.

It should be about the relative risk that you pose to society.

Last edited by Brontide; 04-25-10 at 08:54 AM.
Brontide is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:19 PM.