Bicyclists often inquire whether a Wisconsin bicyclist could be cited for biking under the influence. Police can cite people for whatever they feel is appropriate. However, if there is no legal basis for the charge, then the prosecutor should dismiss the charge after review. Here is a brief analysis of a hypothetical Wisconsin BUI charge:

Is There a Violation of Wisconsin Law?

Wisconsin Statute §346.63 holds in relevant part: No person may drive or operate a motor vehicle while under the influence or with a prohibited alcohol concentration. To convict a person of this offense, prosecutors generally must prove: 1. That a person operated a motor vehicle in an unsafe manner as a result of alcohol or unlawful controlled substance use, or 2. That a person had a .08 or higher BAC at the time of operation.

Does a Bicycle Fall Within The OWI Statue?

“Motor vehicle” is defined in §340.01 (35) as a vehicle which is self-propelled, except a vehicle operated exclusively on a rail. “Self Propelled” is not defined in the Wisconsin Statutes. "Bicycle" is defined as “Every vehicle propelled by the feet acting upon pedals and having wheels any 2 of which are not less than 14 inches in diameter.” “Vehicle” is defined in §939.22(44) as “Any self-propelled device for moving persons or property or pulling implements from one place to another, whether such device is operated on land, rails, water, or in the air.

Although not defined in the statutes, the plain meaning of self-propelled is a vehicle that can move by itself-without human power. For example, a car left in drive, or a lawnmower in gear. Moreover, since §346.63 states, “motor vehicle,” under the plain meaning of the statute, a bicycle does not fall within because a bicycle does not have a motor. A “motor bicycle,” defined in §340.01 (30) as a bike to which a power unit has been added or a bike operated by an electric motor, may be a different story.

When a law is unclear, besides looking at the plain meaning of a word or phrase, a court will look to legislative intent. When they enacted the law, did the legislature intend to include bicycles? Since the lawmakers used the word “motor vehicle” it does not appear the legislature intended to include bikes. Unless lawmakers change the law to include bicycles, courts would likely follow the plain meaning of the statute which requires operation of a “motor vehicle.”

What About Refusing to Take a Test?

A Wisconsin driver consents to a blood, breath, or urine test by driving a motor vehicle on a highway. See §343.305 (2). Since the implied consent statute refers to motor vehicles, it is unlikely that a bicyclist stopped for suspected BUI would have to consent to a blood or breath test (unless some other law applied). Therefore, if a bicyclist refused to provide a sample of his or her blood, breath, or urine, a court could find that the refusal was reasonable, or that the refusal statute does not even apply.

What If a Bicyclist Injures Someone While Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs?

Unlike the above statutes which specifically refer to “motor vehicles”, the Wisconsin injury by intoxicated use of a vehicle law does not only refer to motor vehicles. §940.25 prohibits great bodily harm to another human by operation of a “vehicle.” If a Wisconsin bicyclist caused great bodily harm to another person while operating a bike intoxicated, he or she could face a potentially valid class F felony charge subject to a maximum 12.5 years prison and $25,000 fine. Note that “vehicle” is defined as self propelled, which may not apply to bicycles, however, since this statute includes vehicle and not “motor vehicle” the chance of being charged is much more likely than it is for a basic OWI. Furthermore, §346.02 (4) (a) holds that bicyclists are subject to the rules of the road, except provisions which by their express terms apply only to motor vehicles.

In sum, this attorney is unaware of any Wisconsin cases involving OWI for operating a bicycle. While the Wisconsin OWI law appears directed at motor vehicles, all bicyclists should always ride in a safe and courteous manner regardless of any law.

Note that this article is a summary of a hypothetical charge and as stated above, police are free to cite people for whatever they feel is appropriate at the time of arrest.  Click for more information on Wisconsin bicycle and dui laws.

Motor bicycles fall under different rules.  See State v. Koeppen 2014 WI App 94 (Ct Appeals 2014).  A man was charged with 5th or 6th offense OWI for operating a motor bicycle.  The arresting officer testified the bicycle operator's "feet were dangling off the sides of his bike and not on the pedals," and while on "flat" ground he was accelerating and maneuvering the bike without pedaling.  The Circuit Court dismissed the case but the Wisconsin Court of Appeals reversed and held that becuase a motor bicycle is a motor vehicle within the meaning of Wis. Stat. 346.63 and 340.01 at least when being operated as self propelled rather than pedaled, a charge of OWI is proper under these circumstances.  


Bike Enthusiast said...

Not imagined about such bicycle laws. However, glad to know about these. Police now have all the power to do anything they want. I hope for good police will act accordingly to these laws.

David Jones said...

Male Extra
Male Extra Pills
Male Extra Reviews
Buy Male Extra

Angel Marvel said...

Capsiplex Is a Top rated Strength Fat Burner & Natural Diet and Weight Loss Supplement

Silly Martin said...

If you are looking for some reliable way to shed the excess amount of unwanted fat from your body then the best option is Forskolin Fuel
Forskolin Fuel

momin uddin said...

State of Origin 2017 Live

State of Origin 2017 Stream Online

State of Origin 2017 Free Tv

State of Origin 2017 Online

State of Origin 2017 Live Streaming Free

State of Origin 2017 Watch News

State of Origin 2017: Time, TV

Mr Milon said...

New Release Hollywood Movies

Mr Milon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

great post. thank for sharing android apk

Huy Nguyen said...

Not imagined about such bicycle laws. However, glad to know about these. download apk for android

mxicoders said...

MXICoders leading custom web and smart phone apps development solutions
mobile development, magento website development, shopping cart, ecommerce web developer and more.
Get more info please visit our website or call us +1- 302-200- 3785.

Mxicoders said...

MXICoders provides custom web and smart phone apps development solutions
mobile development, magento website development, shopping cart, ecommerce web developer and more.
Get more info please visit our website or call us +1- 302-200- 3785.

Education Hub said...

Rajasthan Police constable admit card
Rajasthan Police constable Result
Rajasthan Police constable Answer key
Reet Cutoff list district wise
REET Admit Card

dokter suketi said...

I like the post format as you create user engagement in the complete article. It seems round up of all published posts. Thanks for gauging the informative posts.
cara menggugurkan kandungan
cara menggugurkan kandungan

momin uddin said...

Live ™Stream Games

Pro Bowl 2017 Live Free

Pro Bowl 2017 Live

Super Bowl 2017 Live Stream

Unknown said...

How to make your dick bigger
Dianabol for sale

PH.375 said...

Lose weight faster than ever before with Ph.375. Ph.375 combines the benefits of many appetite suppressants and fat burners with no prescription required.

Gina Schwaer said...

Buy Sizegenetics
Buy maleextra
Buy Nocube
Best Legal Steroids

PH375 said...

D-bal Max is 100% safe alternative to Dianabol (Methandrostenolone) steroids.
Buy Dbal Max - The Natural Dianabol Supplement That Boosts Your Muscle Mass.

vigrx oil said...

What is VigRX Oil? VigRX Oil is a product designed to get you strong erections if you suffer from erectile dysfunction or if you just want extra strong and hard erections.
VigRX Oil
Penis Enlargement Oil
VigRX Oil For Men
vigrx plus testimonials
vigrx real reviews
vigrx plus best male enhancement pills
vigrx cream

cryptocurrency development company said...

Mxicoders is best Cryptocurrency Exchange Software Development Company.
Mxicoders Pvt Ltd provides end to end cryptocurrency development and management services including Cryptocoin Creation, Mining, Wallet development, and Cryptocoin Exchange Platform development.

sriram said...

That is very interesting; you are a very skilled blogger. I have shared your website in my social networks! A very nice guide. I will definitely follow these tips. Thank you for sharing such detailed article.
Magento course in chennai

Vigrx Plus said...

Make your confidence high as fortunately, today, lots of supplements and methods are produced to revitalize men and improve their sexual performance. Compared to penis pumps and other penis enhancement devices, doctors recommend more supplements and pills that are helpful in any erection problem. Usually, these supplements, like VigRX Plus™, are rich in natural ingredients such as Saw Palmetto Berry, Extract, Asian Red Ginseng, and others---all of which smoothen blood circulation, increase stamina, and produce more energy hormones.

Gina Schwaer said...

Nootropic is for people who want to keep up on the latest breakthroughs in brain health and optimization and the related areas of neuroscience.

Celebrity News Blog said...

Clenbuterol review you'll learn about how clen works, the side-effects, before and after pictures and how much weight loss is expected ...

Gina Schwaer said...

Zeta Clear Reviews Now there's a solution to your nail fungus problems. ZetaClear is an easy to apply topical solution that is clinically proven and FDA approved to kill nail fungus fast!

Md. Momin Uddin said...

Thank You verry Much man

Slammiversary 2018

"Slammiversary 2018"

Slammiversary 2018 Live

"Slammiversary 2018 Live"

Slammiversary 2018 Live Stream

Slammiversary 2018 Live Online

Slammiversary 2018 Live Free

Watch Slammiversary 2018

TNA Slammiversary 2018

"TNA Slammiversary 2018"

TNA Slammiversary 2018 Live

"TNA Slammiversary 2018 Live"

TNA Slammiversary 2018 Live Stream

Watch TNA Slammiversary 2018

2018 Slammiversary 2018

2018 Slammiversary 2018 Live

TNA Slammiversary 2018

"TNA Slammiversary 2018"

TNA Slammiversary 2018 Live Stream

Slammiversary 2018 Match Card

Slammiversary 2018 TNA

Slammiversary 2018 TNA Live Stream

emma jack said...

crazy bulk reviews

anne jin said...

buy steroids online Buy Steroids Online 100% Legal! SDI Labs legal steroids alternative to HGH, Testosterone, Deca Durabolin, Winstrol, Anabolics, Dianabol for bodybuilding.

Anna Justin said...

Male Extra is considered to have a totally natural formula especially for individuals who are facing the problem of the hair treatment, genetic hair loss.

Md. Momin Uddin said...

Ryder Cup 2018 Live Free

Ryder Cup 2018

"Ryder Cup 2018"

Ryder Cup 2018 Live

"Ryder Cup 2018 Live"

Ryder Cup 2018 Live Stream

Ryder Cup 2018 Live Online

Ryder Cup 2018 Live Free

Watch Ryder Cup 2018

Ryder Cup 2018 2018

"Ryder Cup 2018"

Ryder Cup 2018 Live

Watch Ryder Cup 2018 2018

2018 Ryder Cup 2018

2018 Ryder Cup 2018 Live

Ryder Cup 2018 2018

"Ryder Cup 2018 2018"

Ryder Cup 2018 2018 Live Stream

Ryder Cup 2018 Match Card

Ryder Cup 2018 GOLF

Ryder Cup 2018 GOLF Live Stream