A question that comes up every so often is whether or not a person can be convicted of a DWI in Minnesota for riding a bicycle while intoxicated. The answer is no. In Minnesota, you cannot be convicted of a DWI for riding a standard pedal bike while drunk. The reason for this lies within the wording of Minnesota’s DWI statutes.
Under Minnesota’s DWI statutes, it is a crime for any person to drive, operate, or be in physical control of any motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more. “Motor vehicle,” for purposes of the DWI statutes in Minnesota, is defined to include every vehicle that is self-propelled. The term includes motorboats in operation and off-road recreational vehicles, but does not include a vehicle moved solely by human power.
Because a standard pedal bicycle is moved solely by human power, it falls outside the definition of a motor vehicle as defined for the purposes of the DWI statutes in Minnesota. The answer would likely be different though if the bike had any sort of gas or electric motor on it.
There are numerous potential ways to challenge DWI charges and each case has to be looked at closely to determine what possible defenses can be raised A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can explain your options and fight the charges in court.
If you or a loved one are facing DWI charges, call the attorneys at The Law Office of John J. Leunig today for a free consultation at 952-540-6800.