02

Blog

Bicycle Accident Lawyer researches law of B.U.I. in Kansas and Missouri

A lively discussion at a local watering hole, Ponaks (which nearly straddles the border between Kansas and Missouri), was initiated by an employee who said, “I heard of a guy who got know a DUI on a bicycle.” Several bystanders chimed in and I decided to take a closer look.

The law of Biking While Intoxicated (B.U.I.) differs from state to state.  As reported in this Blog recently, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas all take different approaches.

Kansas Statutes KSA 8-1567 enunciates Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In section (a) it states that, no person shall operate or attempt to operate any VEHICLE (emphasis added) under the influence. So what is a vehicle? KSA 8-1485 defines a vehicle as a device that transports person or property. Sounds like a bicycle, doesn’t it? Not so fast. The statute excepts electric personal mobility devices(scooter), or devices moved by human power, or if on rails. Some racers might not seem human but nevertheless, if human powered then its not a vehicle.

However, in City of Wichita v. Hackett, defendant cyclist Hackett was charged and convicted of riding a bicycle while intoxicated. An appeal was taken to the Kansas Supreme Court. In 2003, the Court upheld the conviction which was based on an ordinance of the City of Wichita, which made such conduct unlawful. States make traffic codes. Cities typically have their own which mirror state codes. Here, the City of Wichita had a traffic law which seemed to expand the state statute. The Supreme court said the city ordinance did not impermissible go beyond state standards, and affirmed the conviction.  So State law says one thing, local law another.

Back to the state line. Missouri Revised Statutes, RSMO 577.010 makes intoxication a crime when operating a MOTOR (emphasis added) vehicle. I see no application to bicycles since they are nonmotorized.

As a bicycle accident lawyer in Missouri and Kansas, I do not recommend or endorse any one biking while intoxicated, but it is interesting that there different legal landscapes in depending on where you are riding.   Particularly if your favorite pub straddles two different legal jurisdictions.

Comments

IMG_3687
Jun 28, 2016

11:30 am UPDATE: Act pulled from today’s Agenda in last minute move.  This means it HAS to come up at the July 12th meeting.  We will be there!  Today, the DC Council will vote on the “Motor Vehicle Collision Recovery Act of 2016.”  If passed, the act will end the antiquated legal doctrine of contributory […]

Read More
Jun 27, 2016

Although we negatively judge our American neighbours repeatedly over their gun laws, when the weapon is a car (and it is used to seriously hurt or kill a cyclist or pedestrian) they are way ahead of us and find our system appalling. A large number of States have already passed Vulnerable Road User Laws and […]

Read More
Jun 23, 2016

On June 22, 2016, the driver who ran down and killed five Kalamazoo cyclists and injured four others was officially brought into a Kalamazoo courtroom and charged with five counts of second-degree murder and four counts of reckless driving causing serious impairment. At that court proceeding, it was also revealed that the driver, 50-year-old Charles […]

Read More
Jun 20, 2016

Before heading out for a ride most of us intuitively check our air, brakes, chains and cranks and do a once over of our bikes.  We confirm our helmets are secure, our cell phones and Garmins are charged, and that we have lights, if we think we’ll need them.  If we are going any significant […]

Read More
Jun 17, 2016

In light of the Kalamazoo, Michigan tragedy, it’s so easy to focus on what’s wrong with the world. Several similar incidents this year have hit too close to home. Some friends in North Carolina were also run down in group.  As were clients in in North Augusta, SC.  As our community grows, we experience more […]

Read More
Jun 08, 2016

Since early this morning, my phone has been blowing up with calls, text messages, and e-mails from cyclists concerned, outraged, and simply wanting more information about the recent tragedy in Kalamazoo.  It’s hard for me to think about this tragic collision, but at the same time, it is impossible to escape. Here is just one […]

Read More
rep62
Jun 02, 2016

*** 2d UPDATE, June 5, 2016, noon *** A cyclist emailed Havard to ask him to change his anti-bike position; Havard responded.  His parents not only taught Havard “not to play in the road,” they apparently taught him when you are in a hole, keep on diggin’! We invite you to let him know how […]

Read More
TORONTO, ON - JULY 7: Critical injury lawyer Patrick Brown seen inside the Mcleish Orlando law firm on July 7, 2015. Brown is raising awareness about the lack of regulations at extreme sport facilities around the city.
Jun 02, 2016

Patrick Brown of Bike Law Canada has been nominated for Canadian Lawyer Magazine’s 25 Most Influential! We would not only like to congratulate Pat, but ask that you take the time to vote for him due to his efforts advocating for cyclists. Pat is a proud founding member and past director of Cycle Toronto (formerly Toronto Cyclist Union) […]

Read More
2-42-55 Yellow
May 31, 2016

When I first met Richard a nurse was assisting him with the delicate task of using the hospital bathroom.  He had just had surgery on his broken right leg, now wrapped in a heavy plaster cast.  Defecation and its attendant tasks were proving a challenge.  He needed help. The rest of his body was a […]

Read More
IMG_0466
May 27, 2016

As lawyers who advocate for cyclists in Colorado, we try to effectuate change one case at a time.  Recently in traffic court, we were able to make things better not just for a sole client, but also for other cyclists. Jonathan came to see me after a horrible bike crash.  He was crossing the road […]

Read More
May 20, 2016

I recently had the chance to meet a passionate bicyclist named Max Mcallister.   Max is, by all accounts, the real deal when it comes to bicycling and bike culture and is definitely a Bike Law kind of guy.   He rides every day.   He seeks out challenges.   He rides through pain and, occasionally, injury.    He gives […]

Read More
video
May 15, 2016

Here’s a video of an off-duty Charleston police officer confronting a cyclist (who had been cycling against traffic on a one-way street), preventing him from leaving, and getting physical and ultimately schooled.  The officer is currently on administrative leave pending investigation. There’s a lot to discuss. We often get complaints from cyclists harassed by police […]

Read More
Load More