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Old 05-24-06, 02:26 AM   #1
古強者死神
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DUI on a bicycle

No it didn't happen to me, it was all over the radio yesterday morning on my way home.

There must be this local bar thats a hotspot for the cops to bust people for DUI, looks like some of the hardcore regulars lost there cars due to it and started bicycling to the bar. They all thought they were doing the right thing not driving anymore after getting busted. So now they all got busted again on there bicycles!

I think most of us know this is possible since we know that a bicycle on the road is considered a vehicle.

But if you didn't know now you do.

Friendly Tip: this is if your on the road, if your offroad or on the sidewalk your not a vehicle your a ped and you cant get busted for that!

I used to bartend, I dont think anybody ever got pulled over leaving my bar but we were very reponsible we had friends take home the drunk and on more than one occasion even one of us would take them home after we closed up.
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Old 05-24-06, 03:28 AM   #2
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Yeah, one of my friends at university got busted for DUI on his bike. Really kinda sucked because this was a college-town with tonnes of inebriated kids everywhere! I guess running a stop-sign attracted more attention from the cops than he bargained for... Really unfortunate because I ran 100 stop-signs in one night once...

And there's also a couple of clubs where the cops have a stake-out and checkpoint. You don't even have to drive drunk, you just have to put the key in the ignition and they can bust you for DUI...
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Old 05-24-06, 07:01 AM   #3
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The drunken driving laws are completely out of control in the USA today. It's absolutely ridiculous. It's time for the pendulum to swing back the other way.
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Old 05-24-06, 07:17 AM   #4
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Having a commercial license in Ca. the DUI threshold is .04 regardless of what your driving. Rig, personal vehicle, or bicycle. Not that I in any way condone drinking and driving, but come on.
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Old 05-24-06, 07:20 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by jfmckenna
The drunken driving laws are completely out of control in the USA today. It's absolutely ridiculous. It's time for the pendulum to swing back the other way.
You mean you think they are too harsh? You've got to be joking. If someone is that much of a lush, they need to sit at home and never get behind the wheel for any reason, ever.
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Old 05-24-06, 07:41 AM   #6
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You mean you think they are too harsh? You've got to be joking. If someone is that much of a lush, they need to sit at home and never get behind the wheel for any reason, ever.
I think what he means (how I took it) is that the punishments are getting so harsh that they're not justice, but bordering on revenge. The drunk driving laws are there to protect other motorists, but how much damage can a bicycle do to another vehicle/people/property? Police definitely have other things to worry about (the guy who gets wasted and drives around in his H2/Navigator/Escalade/Huge rediculous truck).

I applaud people responsible enough not to drive drunk, they've made the decision to ride their bicycle to the bar instead to avoid the harm they could inflict on others, then get punished nonetheless.
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Old 05-24-06, 08:03 AM   #7
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My brother-in-law got stopped for DUI on a bike. The police arrested him for disorderly conduct after he started yelling/swearing at them. Disorderly conduct was obviously much easier to handle than the paperwork/breathlyzer work that would have been needed to substantiate an impaired operation charge.
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Old 05-24-06, 08:09 AM   #8
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The idea behind drunk driving laws and their harsh punishments is that when someone drinks he degrades his ability to drive safely. If he drives in this state he has placed himself and others in greater danger because he MAY cause an accident.

I will support this idea when it is uniformly applied to all behaviors that degrade a persons ability to drive which MAY cause an accident. It's a long list but let's start with cell phones. Now that it's been established that the risk of being in an accident while talking on a cell phone is the same as .08 BAC, When a cop sees someone talking on a cell phone while driving he notes the time, pulls the perp over, he askes for the cell phone so he can check the time of the last call. If the driver refuses automatic 6 month license revocation plus he still goes to court where his phone records are checked and compared to the cops arrest record. If guilty, 3 days in jail, 2 days in training, one year with a yellow license plate to allow you to drive to work. And this is on the first offense.

If you think 3 days in jail is a little harsh for talking on your cell phone while driving; and there might be 1 or 2 of you that have done that, then either the punishment for DUI is too high or for Driving While Phoning is too low. It's as simple as that.
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Old 05-24-06, 08:12 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Rolla1990
I applaud people responsible enough not to drive drunk, they've made the decision to ride their bicycle to the bar instead to avoid the harm they could inflict on others, then get punished nonetheless.
Ah but what you are forgetting is that the government feels a need to protect us from ourselves. They would also make the argument that a drunk person on a bike could hit a pedestrian.
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Old 05-24-06, 08:19 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by jfmckenna
The drunken driving laws are completely out of control in the USA today. It's absolutely ridiculous. It's time for the pendulum to swing back the other way.
+1

Not that I want to drive around crosseyed and legless, but you're right. Blame MADD and their neoprohibitionist cohorts.

That being said, my wife and I always utilize a taxi when we're out on the town. One guy in particular is our regular cabbie. He's like a homing pigeon.
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Old 05-24-06, 09:26 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by jfmckenna
The drunken driving laws are completely out of control in the USA today. It's absolutely ridiculous. It's time for the pendulum to swing back the other way.
During 2004, 16,694 people in the U.S. died in alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes, representing 39% of all traffic-related deaths (NHTSA 2005).

You think the laws are too strict in the U.S.? Try Sweden. Sweden's .02 blood-alcohol limit is four times lower than limits in the U.S. Moreover, penalties for drunk driving in Sweden are severe. Sweden considers a .10 blood-alcohol limit "aggravated" drunk driving. Imprisonment (of up two years) is the recommended punishment for driving with a .10 blood-alcohol limit.

Interestingly, it's reported that 3.3% of Sweden's fatal traffic accidents "were suspected by police of alcohol involvement", while "18% had alcohol based on fatally injured drivers autopsied." Hmm, that's less than half the rate of alcohol related motor vehicle crashes in the U.S.
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Old 05-24-06, 10:01 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by ajay677
You think the laws are too strict in the U.S.? Try Sweden. Sweden's .02 blood-alcohol limit is four times lower than limits in the U.S. Moreover, penalties for drunk driving in Sweden are severe. Sweden considers a .10 blood-alcohol limit "aggravated" drunk driving. Imprisonment (of up two years) is the recommended punishment for driving with a .10 blood-alcohol limit.
How many of those arrested were riding bicycles?

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Old 05-24-06, 11:26 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by jfmckenna
The drunken driving laws are completely out of control in the USA today. It's absolutely ridiculous. It's time for the pendulum to swing back the other way.
+1

There should be a different law for bicycles. A bicycle is nowhere near the threat to other people that a car is.
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Old 05-24-06, 11:35 AM   #14
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As far as "harsh punishment" for DUI drivers, not in my county. I know of a case where an intoxicated illegal alien struck the rear of a pick up truck pinning a man between both vehicles. The man lost both legs and this happened on Christmas Eve. The drunk then spit in the face of one of the police officers. He plead guilty to OWI causing serious bodily injury and Battery by Bodily fluids. He received a whopping sentence of 3 years for both. He got 18 months for each charge. Big woop. They are going to try and deport him.

Also, I am no so concerned about the drunk bike riders hurting someone else, but causing a crash where they get hurt after falling in front of a car or some such thing. I, as a police officer, fail to to something and let the drunk go home, I am negligent and can be held civilly liable. I will also admit I have never made DUI arrest for someone on a bike.
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Old 05-24-06, 11:41 AM   #15
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+1

There should be a different law for bicycles. A bicycle is nowhere near the threat to other people that a car is.
The size, weight or mass of a vehicle should not & does not matter. Cyclist on roadways are to operate in a lawful manner. Why should cyclist not have to follow the laws pertaining to alcohol/drug usage just because were on a bicycle? Imagine the parent with a child who has to swerve to avoid hitting a drunken cyclist only to crash head on into incoming traffic & that is just 1 example. What then, it was "only" a bicycle?

We can't have it both ways, asking for rights & respect on the roads only to feel we don't need to adhere to alcohol/drug laws simply because we're on "bicycles" is counter productive to the progress of cyclist in society.

Last edited by DavidLee; 05-24-06 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 05-24-06, 01:18 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by ajay677
During 2004, 16,694 people in the U.S. died in alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes, representing 39% of all traffic-related deaths (NHTSA 2005).
All crashes where anyone in the crash, whether they caused it, they were driving, they were a passenger, or whether they were not in a car but were a pedestrian who got hit, and someone died in the crash; is counted as an alcohol-related crash. You can go straight to the NHTSA website and the definition is there. If a stone cold sober tea-totaling MADD member talking on her cell phone loses control of her car and runs over a pedestrian on a sidewalk who had just stepped out of a bar and hailed a cab to go home, then it counts as an alcohol related fatality. Persumably its alcohol related since if he hadn't been impaired he would have known that sidewalk was a dangerous place to be. So the figure cited above is not terribly meaningful.

I'm not saying that drinking and driving is not a problem. If you sift through the rest of NHTSA's figures you can see there is a definite correlation between alcohol in the driver who caused the accident and fatalities. The correlation is weak for low alcohol levels and increases as more drinks are consumed. A vast majority of accidents take place where the BAC is above .10. Another study shows that age also plays a big part. Young people, whose driving is already not terribly good, get much worse at BAC as low as .02.

Let's apply the same standards to cell phone use. If there is an accident and anyone in any of the cars involved was on a cell phone at the time, be they driving or just sitting in the back seat, let's count it as a cell phone related accident. When those figures come rolling in there will be outrage at this senseless slaughter!
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Old 05-24-06, 01:59 PM   #17
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During 2004, 16,694 people in the U.S. died in alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes, representing 39% of all traffic-related deaths (NHTSA 2005).

You think the laws are too strict in the U.S.? Try Sweden. Sweden's .02 blood-alcohol limit is four times lower than limits in the U.S. Moreover, penalties for drunk driving in Sweden are severe. Sweden considers a .10 blood-alcohol limit "aggravated" drunk driving. Imprisonment (of up two years) is the recommended punishment for driving with a .10 blood-alcohol limit.

Interestingly, it's reported that 3.3% of Sweden's fatal traffic accidents "were suspected by police of alcohol involvement", while "18% had alcohol based on fatally injured drivers autopsied." Hmm, that's less than half the rate of alcohol related motor vehicle crashes in the U.S.
36,000 people a year die of the flu in america. Maybe instead of arresting people for riding their bicycles drunk, we should arrest sick people for being in public.
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Old 05-24-06, 02:06 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by aikigreg
You mean you think they are too harsh? You've got to be joking. If someone is that much of a lush, they need to sit at home and never get behind the wheel for any reason, ever.
Yes I do think they are too harsh. I think in my state it is .08 but wow in California it's .04 that's the joke here. You can't even use mouth wash before you go to work. It totally depends on the person and how there body handles alcohol. And yes I think the lushes should stay off the road but if I go to a bar and have two or even 3 beers I am definitely not dangerous on the road.

Furthermore what it has done is put more power into the hands of the police. I know for a fact that they are under pressure to arrest DUI and are actually rewarded for doing so. I also know for a fact that a friend of mine was falsely arrested for DUI probably for this very reason. It cost him over 10 thousand dollars and over a year of his life to finally get it through the courts where they cited the cop who falsely arrested him. I also do not appreciate the law assuming that I am guilty and or potentially charging me for a crime that I might commit but have not committed yet. Road blocks are a common thing on our highways now. It's like living in a police state. Ihre Papiere bitte. They pull you over for no cause just to check you papers.
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Old 05-24-06, 02:12 PM   #19
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I just think the way they enforce drunk-driving laws is a little too harsh, yet I don't think the punishments for drunk-driving are tough enough.

First, I think you really should be driving the car on the road, that is you're moving, AND you should be impaired, weaving, driving too slow/too fast, etc. Otherwise, if you can drive perfectly OK while drunk off your ass, I think you should be able to do it. So the law really should be about the quality of your driving, NOT whether you're drunk or not.

Then if you are impaired and are a threat, you should definitely be punished. I think the laws are too lax, you really should lose your license for a year on the 1st offence like in many European countries.

Then if you're busted a 2nd time or if you kill someone while drunk, you should lose your license permanently!
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Old 05-24-06, 02:59 PM   #20
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And if you stagger out of the bar to wander your way home you will be arrested for public drunkness...screwed no matter what method of transportation you choose

Aaron
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Old 05-24-06, 03:47 PM   #21
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Danno, I have a question. If you were stopped for an equipment violation, and I begin to develop probable cause of intoxication due to odor of intoxicants, bloodshot and watery eyes, slurred speech, but your driving was OK, I should ignore it? Let's say I disregard the odor and other stuff and since you were driving OK, I let you drive home and you get in a crash down the road, will you sue me for letting you drive? Maybe your level of intoxication is climbing. The sad thing is I have arrested many drunk drivers and most of them thought their driving was just fine. That's the thing about drinking, many times you think your are just fine.
Also, I don't think we enforce drunk driving laws harshly enough. There is nothing so frustrating and heartbreaking as investigating a fatal traffic crash where the drunk driver caused the crash and kills some innocent person.

jfmckenna,
The .04 the other poster was talking about was a DOT rule for those with CDL's. I don't have any problem with that. If they don't value their livlihood and better than that, they deserve to lose their license. I have arrested several with CDL's and one was even in a semi. They tried to make me feel bad because I would cause them to lose their license. No, they drank, I didn't pour the alcohol down their throat. Also, taking a breath test immediately after using mouthwash will give an unbelievably high BAC. Indiana law requires a 20 minute wait time from the time I stop them to the test. This allows residual mouth alcohol such as mouth wash to disipate and not be a problem. I am sorry your friend may have been falsely arrested. That is what the courts are for to determine guilt or not. If the officer arrested him maliciously, then he should not be an officer.
Sobriety check points are a recognized and approved tool for enforcement.
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Old 05-24-06, 07:10 PM   #22
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Laws vary from state of state. However, in Texas, the laws relating to DWI apply only to someone who is operating a motor vehicle in a public place. And, the punishments for DWI in Texas can be very severe. It is not clear that they work very well though.

Often, after some drunk runs over and kills someone on a bike, his record has been printed in the newspaper. Three or four prior DWI convictions. Been locked up for seven or eight of the past ten years. Gets out of prison, gets drunk, and kills someone.

When an officer in Texas arrests a drunk riding a bike, the charge is disorderly conduct, or public intoxication. Maybe two or three days in jail. So, a fella can get drunk and go to jail on Friday, and still make it to "Happy Hour" on Monday. A very light sentence compared to a motorist.

Thirty or forty people are killed riding bikes in Houston every year. About half those incidents happen after dark. And, it turns out that about half the cyclists killed riding their bike after dark were legally drunk. The motorist who killed the cyclist usually just drives away. But, when these motorists are caught, a significant percentage turn out to be drunk. So, a drunk motoriest killed a drunk on a bike. What are the odds?
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Old 05-24-06, 08:29 PM   #23
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in many places, PI is a night in jail. disorderly conduct isusually the same. I've had a few DCs back when I was a bratty 18 year old who played his car stereo too loud (city did not have a noise ordinance, so I got charged with DC-noise...I'd rather have had a noise ordinance ticket)...a night and a nice hefty fine.

Pretty much my thoughs on bikes is they are vehicles, as such I never use them when intoxicated. I may walk it if I am really drunk, but in some states, even that is a DUI, so check your local ordinances and ask a few cops before you go bar-hopping with your bike and u-lock in hand.
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Old 05-24-06, 09:22 PM   #24
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Never heard of walking as a DUI anywhere. PI, yes, DUI, no. It's funny looking at some who don't want the DUI laws to apply to them on a bike. One moment they want the respect of other drivers and use of the road as any other vehicle, the next they don't want to be subject to many of the same laws vehicles are subject to.
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Old 05-24-06, 10:55 PM   #25
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I definitly see why its the same charge as a car would be. It's two fold, first is like sombody said above, what if they are not really aware enough to see a car was comming from behind them in the left lane and they change lanes and cause that car to have to swerve onto a median or even into oncomming traffic and causes an accident. Thats one reason to be charged the same way.

The next that nobody said yet, and I am supprised the officer didn't say is they are sworn to "protect and serve" the public that also means you as the drunk cyclist. Unfortunatly in alot of drunk driving accidents the person responcible for the accident is unharmed or barly injured while the victims are severly injured or even dead. Now on a bicycle instead of behind the wheel of a car your a signicant threat to yourself if you cause an accident.

As a very neutral person I do somwhat agree with what the person said above with in how the DUI laws are inforced, sure if you pull sombody over and they have watery eyes and slurred speach chances are even if they appear to drive ok they are pretty drunk and they might be driving straight just out of muscle memory and have very poor reaction times and awarness.

But if you pulled me over after work when I was a bartender, I bet I was over the legal limit quite a few times but I had no slured speech, no watery eyes, and could drive perfectly. Each person reacts diffrently to how alchol effects them. Sure I am the minority: Martial Arts training, Fast Matabolism, Bartending and Marines made it so that I very much have almost an immunity to alchohol. I dont even drink to get drunk as it would be a waist of my money.

So in my case I think it would be unfair to get pulled over for a equipment voilation and get a DUI for going 3 mintues down the road to get home when I can and do drive better at that point than half the people on the road with not one drop of alcohol in there system.

I would do any road side test, or even drive thru a obsitcal corse to prove it ^^

the officer is also right about increasing intoxication tho, I have to give him that. If sombody just had 3 shots "for the road" and got pulled over 10 mintues later on there 30 mintue trip home. They might be buzzed when they got pulled over but striaght up "**** faced" by the time they get home.

Thats why I would pay carfull observation to how far the person has to drive as an officer. A ticket or two can ruin sombodies life. I am a close friend to many law enforcment officers in my area and I know the ones I feel are truly there to "protect and serve" and the ones that are just abusing there power or trying to meet there unspoken quota.
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