Bill would mean no more DUIs on bicycles, horses

North Dakota Legislature
North Dakota Legislature(kfyr)
Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 8:59 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - A bill introduced at the legislature about bicycles and horses might soon make a small but significant difference for some people in North Dakota.

As the law currently stands, bicycles and horses are considered vehicles in North Dakota state law. House Bill 1506 would change that.

Although that might not seem like a big deal, it would mean people would no longer be able to be charged with driving under the influence while riding a bicycle or horse while intoxicated.

“With the force and effect of law, we’re discouraging individuals from driving a car drunk while simultaneously punishing them for rationally choosing a low-risk alternative transportation in the form of a bicycle,” said Jesse Walstad, attorney with the ND Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

The Highway Patrol testified in opposition to the bill. They gave multiple examples of intoxicated people riding bicycles obstructing traffic, including one instance where a drunk bicyclist failed to follow the rules of the road and died.