The Wisconsin State Bar Association discussed an appellate court case from that state regarding whether someone could be guilty of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) on a bicycle. The bicycle in question could be self-propelled by an electric motor or could be pedaled without the assist, or could operate with a combination of the two. Because of the specific facts of the case, the court avoided the question of exactly what Wisconsin law does and does not prohibit on a bicycle.
Wisconsin law prohibits the operation of a “motor vehicle” while under the influence of alcohol. The defendant (the accused) argued that a bicycle is not a “motor vehicle” and he thus could not be guilty of DUI.
However, under Wisconsin law. a motor vehicle is defined as any self-propelled vehicle. The prosecution argued that since the bicycle was motor-assisted, it was a motor vehicle.
The appellate court did not accept that argument wholesale but nevertheless sided with the State due to the specific facts. After observing the defendant’s actions, police gave chase. Continue reading →