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Old 02-06-06, 04:26 PM   #1
Caraxmarie
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Drunks on bikes

Bill Would OK Drunks on Bikes
By JOE KAFKA
AP
PIERRE, South Dakota (Feb. 2) - South Dakota lawmakers decided Wednesday that it's better to have drunks on horses and bicycles instead of behind the wheel of an auto or truck.


The state Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill 6-1 that will exempt horses and bikes from drunken driving laws, meaning intoxicated people who either pedal or saddle up to get home after a night at the bar cannot be arrested for drunken driving.


Sen. Lee Schoenbeck said it will make the roads safer for other motorists.


"If I have to choose ... a problem drunk with 1,500 pound or 2,000 pounds of metal coming at 50 miles an hour or a two-wheel Schwinn, I'm going to win and my family is going to win," he said. "I'd much rather have a drunk on the bike."


A former lawman, Sen. Gene Abdallah, agreed. Better to have drunks on bikes and horses than motor vehicles, he said.


"I can't believe that a horse is going to intentionally run into anything," Abdallah said. "This is a good avenue to get some people home."


Prosecutors opposed the bill. Chuck Schroyer, lobbyist for the State's Attorneys Association, said there have been arrests in several counties for riding horses while intoxicated.


In one instance, a drunken rider passed out and his horse was struck by a car, injuring several people, Schroyer said.


"There are people that are injured that are in control of these instruments," he said. "This does happen in the real world."


Legislators, however, said prosecutors still can charge drunken riders on horses and bicycles. Rather than drunken driving, they can be charged with disorderly conduct, it was suggested.
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Old 02-06-06, 04:29 PM   #2
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the way they phrase it sounds less like "a drunk on a bike won't cause as much damage if (s)he hits me" and more like "it'll cause less trouble for me if i hit them".

skewed thinking aside, i agree with this.
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Old 02-06-06, 04:36 PM   #3
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i think this is good.. at least to make a distinction between drunk driving and drunk riding. A drunk rcyclist is mor elikely to lose balance and just harm himself. And if you drink and know you gotta ride a bike, it's your own fault/business if you are too drunk and hurt yourself. Cars of course have a greater chance of harming someone else and potentially worse harm than a cyclist ever could.
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Old 02-06-06, 04:43 PM   #4
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I think it's all well and good to allow drunks on bikes; if you get your number pulled for a DUI you're riding a bike anyway. But allowing drunks on horses is a different matter. Wrecking a bike because you're drunk and wrecking a horse are two very different things. Killing a beater bike vs. killing a horse?
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Old 02-06-06, 04:45 PM   #5
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That is stupid.

Ok, so say you are riding sober and some drunk cyclist decides to crash right in front of you on the street with traffic around? You go over the top and get wracked, or you swerve into traffic and get hit.

How about if you are driving a car and there is a drunk cyclist in front of you.What do you do? Do you come to a stop to let him mosey all over the place? What about if he swerves right into your car? How would you feel if you killed a cyclist..even if he were drunk. Wonder if they would even run tests on him before they arrested you(or had all the other bikers come after you for killing a cyclist)

If you are not in total control of yourself and you are on a street, they need to be able to get you out of there.
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Old 02-06-06, 04:51 PM   #6
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I think the idea is that people who are dumb enough to operate vehicles totally smashtered are better off doing it on bikes than cars. Less damage to society as a whole. I mean, come on, how many sober innocent people are killed by head-on collisions with drunks on bikes in a year?
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Old 02-06-06, 04:57 PM   #7
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^^^^^^^^^

Yeah, it's an issue of harm reduction, which gets some short shrift in this country, although it's very effective.

Also, if I ride a bike drunk and cause you injury, I'm fairly sure I'd still be liable in a court of law. So, really, it's just taking away the disincentive of jail, but leaving the other disincentives in place.

(As an aside, most prostitution is now enforced in terms of harm reduction -- tolerated in certain areas of town, with large efforts made to go after anyone violent or dangerous. See MacCoun and Reuter's Drug War Heresies for a full discussion, if you're interested.)
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Old 02-06-06, 05:20 PM   #8
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Horses and bikes are two different animals [no pun intended]. Running into a horse on a bike or in any thing short of a HumVee will total the driver/rider. I'm all good with drunken biking, but drunken equestrianism is a bad idea. Then again, just how many people ride horses home from the bar these days?
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Old 02-06-06, 05:26 PM   #9
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Drunk equestrianism is only REALLY dangerous if the horse is drunk, too, bros. As someone said upthread, a trained horse isn't likely to do anything that will get itself killed (ie - walk out into heavy, moving traffic)
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Old 02-06-06, 05:59 PM   #10
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so what if your drunk on a bike and are hit by a car and it's completely the cars fault? do you get charged for disorderly conduct, and still get the insurance money or what?
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Old 02-06-06, 06:23 PM   #11
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I live in south dakota, people in hick towns actually ride horses to the bar, that is why this law was set into motion. Can not remember the stats for DUI arrests in the state but it is in the top 3, the midwest being the home of the most drunks in the country.. But yeah in the bigger cities in the state you do not see drunks on horses or people on horses in general just big ass pick up trucks. I rather see the drunks ridding horses and bikes then driving big trucks.
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Old 02-06-06, 06:27 PM   #12
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Where can I get tickets? Oh it's not like Stars on Ice?
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Old 02-06-06, 06:33 PM   #13
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The big deal about this was that they were removing the vehicle status of bicycles and horses.

I think that was changed though due to the hard work of some cycling advocates.

I am not sure...I'm kind of out of the loop. I need to stop by the shop tomorrow.

Where you at in SD stuckey?
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Old 02-06-06, 06:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wunder
The big deal about this was that they were removing bicycles and horses vehicle status.

I think that was changed though due to the hard work of some cycling advocates.

I am not sure...I'm kind of out of the loop. I need to stop by the shop tomorrow.

Where you at in SD stuckey?
Cyclists were afraid if bikes lost there vehicle status they would not be allowed on the roads. It should be all changed now so we can continue ridding on the streets.
I am in watertown.
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Old 02-06-06, 06:59 PM   #15
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Bottoms up!
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Old 02-06-06, 07:01 PM   #16
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i agree to beppe and the whole harm reduction thing... look at the netherlands, they practice harm reduction and it keeps their drug problems down tenfold than that of the States....
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Old 02-06-06, 07:04 PM   #17
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link to original?

**edit**

nevermind, here it is
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Old 02-06-06, 07:14 PM   #18
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Old news, folks. This was in Helvetica's drunk cycling thread last week.

Good news for SD. Maybe other states will follow suit? We can only hope.
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Old 02-06-06, 07:19 PM   #19
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I hate drinking and driving. Been biking to and from bars for years-- way, way better than having everyone argue over splitting a cab. Or rolling the dice and climbing behind the wheels themselves.

However, I think the law should allow an officer to stop a person obviously too drunk to operate a bike. Drunk cycling isn't exactly an optimal solution.

It's the kind of situation that benefits from ambiguousity: By enforcing selectively, the cops can keep people from hurting themselves while allowing marginally intoxicated folks to get home safe.
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Old 02-06-06, 07:29 PM   #20
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A local shop has an overview page:

http://spoke-n-sport.com/site/page.cfm?PageID=201
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