Bicyclist Charged With DWI

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Brad, Jul 8, 2003.

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  1. Brad

    Brad Guest

    From Today's Manchester (New Hampshire) Union Leader-

    Enjoy, Discuss Amongst Yourselves....

    Bicyclist Charged With DWI Prosecutor Says Law Doesn't Just Apply To Motor Vehicles

    POSTED: 10:38 a.m. EDT July 8, 2003

    LONDONDERRY, N.H. -- A crackdown on drunken driving in Londonderry apparently extends to people
    on bicycles.

    Police charged Timothy Bradley, 43, of Londonderry, with drunken driving on his mountain bike during
    the holiday weekend.

    They had stopped him late Friday night for not having any headlights while returning from a
    fireworks show. Then they asked if he had been drinking.

    Bradley said he told them he had two drinks about six hours earlier and had a shot of vodka in his
    water bottle. Police said he refused to take a field sobriety test, and that's when he was charged.

    Bradley was released on $2,000 personal recognizance bail.

    One state prosecutor said the law does not say a drunken driving charge must involve a motor
    vehicle, but another legal scholar said he thinks prosecutors will have a tough time convincing a
    judge. Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be
    published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
     
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  2. Jay Beattie

    Jay Beattie Guest

    "brad" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > From Today's Manchester (New Hampshire) Union Leader-
    >
    > Enjoy, Discuss Amongst Yourselves....
    >
    >
    > Bicyclist Charged With DWI Prosecutor Says Law Doesn't Just Apply To Motor Vehicles
    >
    > POSTED: 10:38 a.m. EDT July 8, 2003
    >
    > LONDONDERRY, N.H. -- A crackdown on drunken driving in Londonderry apparently extends to people on
    > bicycles.
    >
    > Police charged Timothy Bradley, 43, of Londonderry, with drunken driving on his mountain bike
    > during the holiday weekend.
    >
    > They had stopped him late Friday night for not having any headlights while returning from a
    > fireworks show. Then they asked if he had been drinking.
    >
    >
    > Bradley said he told them he had two drinks about six hours earlier and had a shot of vodka in his
    > water bottle. Police said he refused to take a field sobriety test, and that's when he was
    > charged.
    >
    > Bradley was released on $2,000 personal recognizance bail.
    >
    > One state prosecutor said the law does not say a drunken driving charge must involve a motor
    > vehicle, but another legal scholar said he thinks prosecutors will have a tough time convincing a
    > judge. Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be
    > published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

    "Prosecutors will have a tough time convincing a judge" -- I don't think so. Depending on the
    wording of the statute and the evidence, getting a conviction may be quite easy. Bicyclists are
    convicted of DUII in Oregon with enough regularity that Multnomah Co. (Portland) DAs have a
    nick-name for the offense: PUII, "pedaling under the influence of intoxicants." -- Jay Beattie.
     
  3. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    >Bicyclist Charged With DWI

    Ridiculous.

    >Prosecutor Says Law Doesn't Just Apply To Motor Vehicles

    Equally ridiculous.
     
  4. Werehatrack

    Werehatrack Guest

    On Tue, 8 Jul 2003 09:03:17 -0700, "Jay Beattie" <[email protected]> may have said:

    >"Prosecutors will have a tough time convincing a judge" -- I don't think so. Depending on the
    >wording of the statute and the evidence, getting a conviction may be quite easy. Bicyclists are
    >convicted of DUII in Oregon with enough regularity that Multnomah Co. (Portland) DAs have a
    >nick-name for the offense: PUII, "pedaling under the influence of intoxicants." -- Jay Beattie.

    That's Oregon. New Hampshire might as well be in an entirely different universe.

    ---
    My email address is antispammed; pull WEEDS if replying via e-mail.

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  5. Werehatrack

    Werehatrack Guest

    have said:

    >>Bicyclist Charged With DWI
    >
    >Ridiculous.
    >
    >>Prosecutor Says Law Doesn't Just Apply To Motor Vehicles
    >
    >Equally ridiculous.

    Yes, a case could be made for holding that if the law applies in this instance, then no wheelchair
    user can consume alcohol without risking arrest. It *is* ridiculous. (Not that I'm defending
    operation of any motorized or otherwise obviously dangerous equipment while impaired in any manner,
    mind you, but there must be limits to the intrusiveness of all laws if they are not to become the
    tools of petty dictatorial whim. I can get right behind the Coast Guard's campaign to arrest drunken
    boaters, but this case is over the edge and well off into lala land. If the guy was sufficiently
    intoxicated to run afoul of *public intoxication* laws, than let *those* be used instead. Not DUI.)

    ---
    My email address is antispammed; pull WEEDS if replying via e-mail.

    Yes, I have a killfile. If I don't respond to something, it's also possible that I'm busy.
     
  6. There is a gentleman who does a column in VeloNews called ' Legally Speaking - with Bob Mionske '

    If my memory is correct, he did an article on this subject recently and explained that the law
    varies a lot from state to state.

    Lewis.

    *******************************

    [email protected] (brad) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > From Today's Manchester (New Hampshire) Union Leader-
    >
    > Enjoy, Discuss Amongst Yourselves....
    >
    >
    > Bicyclist Charged With DWI Prosecutor Says Law Doesn't Just Apply To Motor Vehicles
    >
    > POSTED: 10:38 a.m. EDT July 8, 2003
    >
    > LONDONDERRY, N.H. -- A crackdown on drunken driving in Londonderry apparently extends to people on
    > bicycles.
    >
    > Police charged Timothy Bradley, 43, of Londonderry, with drunken driving on his mountain bike
    > during the holiday weekend.
    >
    > They had stopped him late Friday night for not having any headlights while returning from a
    > fireworks show. Then they asked if he had been drinking.
    >
    >
    > Bradley said he told them he had two drinks about six hours earlier and had a shot of vodka in his
    > water bottle. Police said he refused to take a field sobriety test, and that's when he was
    > charged.
    >
    > Bradley was released on $2,000 personal recognizance bail.
    >
    > One state prosecutor said the law does not say a drunken driving charge must involve a motor
    > vehicle, but another legal scholar said he thinks prosecutors will have a tough time convincing a
    > judge. Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be
    > published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
     
  7. Ronald

    Ronald Guest

    > >Bicyclist Charged With DWI
    >
    > Ridiculous.

    I don't see why this is ridiculous. Maybe the circumstances are a bit weird (you don't want to do
    test so we charge you) but overhere (Netherlands) it's normal. In Germany you can even loose your
    driverslicense because being drunk on a bike adds points (and an x ammount of points = exit
    license). This also is the case for walking a red light etc. Maybe the Germans are a bit over the
    top on this but i can't see why being drunk on a bike should be allowed, it's just not save and adds
    unnecessary risks to other roadusers.

    > >Bicyclist Charged With DWI
    >
    > Ridiculous.
    >
    > >Prosecutor Says Law Doesn't Just Apply To Motor Vehicles
    >
    > Equally ridiculous.
     
  8. Tefl

    Tefl Guest

    The whole case sounds like a couple of guys trying to justify a paycheck. First being the cop that
    picked him up. Second, the prosecutor who is pushing the case. It kind of makes you wonder how slow
    the case load must be down at the courthouse for them to even bother with something so ridiculas.

    This reminds me of a case I read about a few years ago here in Tennesse. A guy was taken to jail for
    being drunk on his horse. Supposidly he had passed out at a party so his buddies layed him over the
    saddle and told the horse to go home with him. The cops stopped the horse and hauled him to jail for
    dui. I could perhaps see them going after his friends for public endangerment, but not him for dui.
    How was he to know what was happening?

    As Jim Morrison is quoted as saying, "This is the strangest life I have ever known."

    On 8 Jul 2003 08:18:26 -0700, [email protected] (brad) wrote:

    >From Today's Manchester (New Hampshire) Union Leader-
    >
    >Enjoy, Discuss Amongst Yourselves....
    >
    >
    >Bicyclist Charged With DWI Prosecutor Says Law Doesn't Just Apply To Motor Vehicles
    >
    >POSTED: 10:38 a.m. EDT July 8, 2003
    >
    >LONDONDERRY, N.H. -- A crackdown on drunken driving in Londonderry apparently extends to people on
    >bicycles.
    >
    >Police charged Timothy Bradley, 43, of Londonderry, with drunken driving on his mountain bike
    >during the holiday weekend.
    >
    >They had stopped him late Friday night for not having any headlights while returning from a
    >fireworks show. Then they asked if he had been drinking.
    >
    >
    >Bradley said he told them he had two drinks about six hours earlier and had a shot of vodka in his
    >water bottle. Police said he refused to take a field sobriety test, and that's when he was charged.
    >
    >Bradley was released on $2,000 personal recognizance bail.
    >
    >One state prosecutor said the law does not say a drunken driving charge must involve a motor
    >vehicle, but another legal scholar said he thinks prosecutors will have a tough time convincing a
    >judge. Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be
    >published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
     
  9. Andres Muro

    Andres Muro Guest

    riding drunk is actually kind of fun

    Andres

    "Jay Beattie" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]corp.supernews.com>...
    > "brad" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > From Today's Manchester (New Hampshire) Union Leader-
    > >
    > > Enjoy, Discuss Amongst Yourselves....
    > >
    > >
    > > Bicyclist Charged With DWI Prosecutor Says Law Doesn't Just Apply To Motor Vehicles
    > >
    > > POSTED: 10:38 a.m. EDT July 8, 2003
    > >
    > > LONDONDERRY, N.H. -- A crackdown on drunken driving in Londonderry apparently extends to people
    > > on bicycles.
    > >
    > > Police charged Timothy Bradley, 43, of Londonderry, with drunken driving on his mountain bike
    > > during the holiday weekend.
    > >
    > > They had stopped him late Friday night for not having any headlights while returning from a
    > > fireworks show. Then they asked if he had been drinking.
    > >
    > >
    > > Bradley said he told them he had two drinks about six hours earlier and had a shot of vodka in
    > > his water bottle. Police said he refused to take a field sobriety test, and that's when he was
    > > charged.
    > >
    > > Bradley was released on $2,000 personal recognizance bail.
    > >
    > > One state prosecutor said the law does not say a drunken driving charge must involve a motor
    > > vehicle, but another legal scholar said he thinks prosecutors will have a tough time convincing
    > > a judge. Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be
    > > published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
    >
    >
    > "Prosecutors will have a tough time convincing a judge" -- I don't think so. Depending on the
    > wording of the statute and the evidence, getting a conviction may be quite easy. Bicyclists are
    > convicted of DUII in Oregon with enough regularity that Multnomah Co. (Portland) DAs have a
    > nick-name for the offense: PUII, "pedaling under the influence of intoxicants." -- Jay Beattie.
     
  10. Kbh

    Kbh Guest

    Its up there with helmet laws, protecting the stupid against themselves. While a drunk bicyclist
    could knock someone over, so could a drunk jogger. Hey - so could an uncoordinated, inattentive,
    sober bicyclist - lets outlaw them too! Bicycling licenses for everyone! Hey, that could be a great
    revenue producer for states! I'd better shut up now.

    Joking aside. Realistically how much of a danger to society is a drunk bicyclist relative to other
    moving objects with similar momentum that don't have the buzzword (ha) and stigma of bring drunk
    associated with them?

    "brad" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > From Today's Manchester (New Hampshire) Union Leader-
    >
    > Enjoy, Discuss Amongst Yourselves....
    >
    >
    > Bicyclist Charged With DWI Prosecutor Says Law Doesn't Just Apply To Motor Vehicles
    >
    > POSTED: 10:38 a.m. EDT July 8, 2003
    >
    > LONDONDERRY, N.H. -- A crackdown on drunken driving in Londonderry apparently extends to people on
    > bicycles.
    >
    > Police charged Timothy Bradley, 43, of Londonderry, with drunken driving on his mountain bike
    > during the holiday weekend.
    >
    > They had stopped him late Friday night for not having any headlights while returning from a
    > fireworks show. Then they asked if he had been drinking.
    >
    >
    > Bradley said he told them he had two drinks about six hours earlier and had a shot of vodka in his
    > water bottle. Police said he refused to take a field sobriety test, and that's when he was
    > charged.
    >
    > Bradley was released on $2,000 personal recognizance bail.
    >
    > One state prosecutor said the law does not say a drunken driving charge must involve a motor
    > vehicle, but another legal scholar said he thinks prosecutors will have a tough time convincing a
    > judge. Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be
    > published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
     
  11. On Tue, 8 Jul 2003 09:03:17 -0700, "Jay Beattie" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >"Prosecutors will have a tough time convincing a judge" -- I don't think so. Depending on the
    >wording of the statute and the evidence, getting a conviction may be quite easy.

    Except that he doesn't seem to have undergone any blood alcohol test, or at least it goes
    unmnetioned, so there's no evidence at all that he was actually drinking. The bicycle part should be
    a piece of cake though.

    Jasper
     
  12. Werehatrack wrote:

    > have said:
    >
    >
    >>>Bicyclist Charged With DWI
    >>
    >>Ridiculous.
    >>
    >>
    >>>Prosecutor Says Law Doesn't Just Apply To Motor Vehicles
    >>
    >>Equally ridiculous.
    >
    >
    > Yes, a case could be made for holding that if the law applies in this instance, then no wheelchair
    > user can consume alcohol without risking arrest. It *is* ridiculous.

    Not ridiculous at all. If the wheelchair user remained off public roads and presented no danger to
    others, than they should be able to drink as he sees fit. But if decided to travel on a public
    road and through his intoxicated state became a danger to other road users, than he _should_ be
    charged with DUI.

    There is no law against being drunk while sitting in a car on private property. It is when the
    intoxicated driver chooses to drive on public roads and becomes a danger to others that it becomes a
    crime. If the bicyclist (or wheelchair user) becomes dangerous to others on public roads because of
    their intoxication, than that too should be a crime.

    Mark McMaster [email protected]
     
  13. Misnomer

    Misnomer Guest

    I've heard of bike riders being charged with speeding.... hmmm... why not DWI's In Canada a bicycle
    is considered "just like an automobile" with the same rules of the road etc.

    take care Liz

    Hey! Look what [email protected] (brad) wrote :

    >Bicyclist Charged With DWI Prosecutor Says Law Doesn't Just Apply To Motor Vehicles
     
  14. Thee prosecutor is right. In most states the cycling laws start with "The operator of a bicycle is
    due all the rights and responsible for all the laws pertaining to a motor vehicle..." That includes
    driving under the influence!

    I'm glad to hear that at least one state is taking this to heart. Now, if they can only do something
    with wrong way riders...

    May you have the wind at your back. And a really low gear for the hills! Chris

    Chris'Z Corner "The Website for the Common Bicyclist": http://www.geocities.com/czcorner
     
  15. heater

    heater New Member

    Joined:
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    I agree with the prosecutor. When riding on the road you are classified with cars and have to obey the same laws. I don't think that it should have any effect on your driver's licence though. You don't need a licence to ride a bike so it wouldn't be fair that people who have a driver's licence could possibly get it revoked or lose points whereas cyclists who didn't have a driver's licence couldn't penalized this way.
     
  16. Hedberg

    Hedberg Guest

    On Wed, 09 Jul 2003 00:09:56 GMT, Jasper Janssen <[email protected]> wrote:

    >On Tue, 8 Jul 2003 09:03:17 -0700, "Jay Beattie" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>"Prosecutors will have a tough time convincing a judge" -- I don't think so. Depending on the
    >>wording of the statute and the evidence, getting a conviction may be quite easy.
    >
    >Except that he doesn't seem to have undergone any blood alcohol test, or at least it goes
    >unmnetioned, so there's no evidence at all that he was actually drinking. The bicycle part should
    >be a piece of cake though.
    >
    >Jasper

    He refused to take the field test which would provide evidence of blood alcohol, but that's not the
    only evidence that can be used to prove he was drinking. According to the story, he confessed to
    having imbibed and he confessed to having alcohol in his water bottle. That's evidence. Also, if he
    appeared to the police officers to have been under the influence -- if he appeared to be impaired --
    their testimony is evidence as well.

    Harold
     
  17. David Snyder

    David Snyder Guest

    At least in Ohio (and I suspect most other states) it *is* illegal to be drunk sitting in a car on
    private property if you are in possession of the keys of that vehicle. In fact, the law does not
    differentiate between private or public property at all. That rider could have been charged in his
    back yard if the officer had probable cause to stop him!

    "Mark McMaster" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Werehatrack wrote:

    > > have said:
    > >
    > >
    > >>>Bicyclist Charged With DWI
    > >>
    > >>Ridiculous.
    > >>
    > >>
    > >>>Prosecutor Says Law Doesn't Just Apply To Motor Vehicles
    > >>
    > >>Equally ridiculous.
    > >
    > >
    > > Yes, a case could be made for holding that if the law applies in this instance, then no
    > > wheelchair user can consume alcohol without risking arrest. It *is* ridiculous.
    >
    > Not ridiculous at all. If the wheelchair user remained off public roads and presented no danger to
    > others, than they should be able to drink as he sees fit. But if decided to travel on a public
    > road and through his intoxicated state became a danger to other road users, than he _should_ be
    > charged with DUI.
    >
    > There is no law against being drunk while sitting in a car on private property. It is when the
    > intoxicated driver chooses to drive on public roads and becomes a danger to others that it becomes
    > a crime. If the bicyclist (or wheelchair user) becomes dangerous to others on public roads because
    > of their intoxication, than that too should be a crime.
    >
    > Mark McMaster [email protected]
     
  18. Werehatrack

    Werehatrack Guest

    On Wed, 09 Jul 2003 03:15:32 GMT, "David Snyder" <[email protected]> may have said:

    >At least in Ohio (and I suspect most other states) it *is* illegal to be drunk sitting in a car on
    >private property if you are in possession of the keys of that vehicle. In fact, the law does not
    >differentiate between private or public property at all. That rider could have been charged in his
    >back yard if the officer had probable cause to stop him!

    Same in many states. Arrests have taken place here in Houston when the driver was still in the
    parking lot of a private establishment, and had merely moved the vehicle back out of a parking spot.
    I have no quarrel with that. But the central principle here is that DUI laws address a specific
    danger that is clearly not present when dealing with a bicycle or other man-powered mobility device.
    No inebriated cyclist is going to go over the median wall of a freeway and take out the first five
    rows of seats of a Greyhound bus (happened near Beaumont about 10 to 15 years back) or drive through
    the front of a store and pin three of the employees against the back wall of the shop (varying the
    number of people, has happened here several times a year, including about three weeks ago), or drive
    across a lawn and through the living room of a house (happened down the street several years ago,
    similar event across town two weeks ago) or into the occupied bedroom of a house (many incidents,
    too many fatal), or such. DUI laws are *nasty* specifically because of the risk of such results;
    they often require mandatory penalties that are vastly outside the range of reason for an incident
    involving a cyclist. Their application to non-motor-vehicle incidents is incredibly excessive;
    conviction can cause permanent forfeiture of driver's licenses, mandatory jail time, and huge fines.
    The punishment would be so far out of proportion to the offense that the application of them would
    make a mockery of the entire concept of justice. There is no word softer than "ridiculous" which
    encompasses the concept.

    ---
    My email address is antispammed; pull WEEDS if replying via e-mail.

    Yes, I have a killfile. If I don't respond to something, it's also possible that I'm busy.
     
  19. Werehatrack

    Werehatrack Guest

    On Wed, 09 Jul 2003 00:32:37 GMT, MisNomer <[email protected]> may have said:

    >I've heard of bike riders being charged with speeding....

    Saw it happen. On I-70, west of Denver, in 1976 or 77. I was on a long downgrade, and doing about
    60. There was a fairly stiff, reasonably steady tailwind. A guy on a bike came sailing past me doing
    at least 85; my immediate reaction was "I don't care how good you are, you're nuts!" About 15 to 20
    seconds later, a Colorado cop went by, with lights ablaze. About three miles farther down the grade,
    there was the cop, with the cyclist pulled over. (I still wonder what the look on the judge's face
    must have been when the charge was read.)

    >hmmm... why not DWI's In Canada a bicycle is considered "just like an automobile" with the same
    >rules of the road etc.

    The requirement for cyclists to follow the same rules of the road does not enable them to do
    everything that an automobile can do, and the laws should recognize that impossibility. DUI laws are
    draconian because of the hazard to others inherent in the behavior. That same level of hazard does
    not obtain with a cyclist. There has been significant pressure applied by the US Federal government
    to the state legislatures to lower the BAL that establishes DUI and to increase the severity of the
    penalties involved. Absent the use of a motor vehicle, those laws should not apply; the PI statutes
    are appropriate for virtually all other situations.

    ---
    My email address is antispammed; pull WEEDS if replying via e-mail.

    Yes, I have a killfile. If I don't respond to something, it's also possible that I'm busy.
     
  20. DiabloScott

    DiabloScott New Member

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    I know of one case (California) of Cycling While Intoxicated (CWI) in which the judge dismissed it.

    The cops can write the ticket, and maybe they should, but it's an extremely rare case that the DA decides to prosecute or the judge decides to hear. The system usually works. No judge and no jury is ever going to give a CWI the same kind of penalty that a DWI would get. Many DWI cases go before a jury, I doubt that any CWI cases have ever gone that far; most of them probably pay a small fine or do a little community service. There is no reason that a CWI should go on your driving record.

    It carries the same risk to society as jaywalking and it should carry the equivalent legal penalty.
     
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