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

hqdefault
Aug 19, 2016

If a picture is worth a thousand words then a video is worth a million.  As every lawyer knows, a crash will have multiple versions of the event; your client’s story, the defendant’s story, and the truth.  A video always gets us to the truth. Rarely are we as lucky to have a client with […]

Read More
IMG_3840
Aug 12, 2016

Since I have returned home from riding across Iowa, a lot of people have asked, “What’s RAGBRAI like?” Well, it’s a lot like riding your bike for the fun of it with your friends and meeting lots of like-minded folks along the route—kind of like when you were a kid. It’s also like a choose-your-adventure […]

Read More
13612282_10209884791222956_2170951003735034556_n
Aug 04, 2016

On July 12, House Bill 959 was signed into law and it changes a few things for bicyclists. What effect, if any, will these changes have on bicycle safety? A little background, if you haven’t been following along. Last summer, the Legislature passed HB 232 and set up a working group to study North Carolina […]

Read More
Jul 29, 2016

On June 7, 2016, Charles Pickett, Jr., while under the influence of an unidentified controlled substance, drove his pickup truck into a group of cyclists in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  In doing so, he killed 5 people, and seriously injured 4 others.  The tragedy gained national attention, and there was an outpouring of support for the cyclists […]

Read More
Bike crash
Jul 19, 2016

You can’t believe that just happened. You were cut off. Left hooked. Doored. However your crash occurred, it happened, and thankfully you are walking away, shaken and pissed off. Sadly, you can’t say the same for your bike. Your frame is cracked or bent. Fork or wheels trashed. Saddle ripped. Who is going to pay? […]

Read More
DC law
Jul 12, 2016

July 12, 2016 @ 1 p.m: Washington, D.C. just took a very big step forward in protecting the rights of vulnerable road users.   Bike Law’s Timmy Finch was there. Today, Council approved the first reading of the Motor Vehicle Collision Recovery Act of 2016. [Read more about the bill and its postponement last month.] […]

Read More
1410576_630x354
Jul 02, 2016

It’s been a brutal start to the summer for cyclists.  From New York to Michigan to San Fransisco and everywhere in between we’ve seen a level of carnage unmatched as far as I can remember.  I’ve been told that there are all sorts of possible reasons for these bike crashes, mostly some combination including more […]

Read More
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
Load More