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Biking white intoxicated: Technically legal in Wisconsin

Wisconsin has no laws against riding a bike while intoxicated. That's good news if you were stopped for public intoxication but were on your bike at the time. The state is one of 29 that does not restrict people from riding bicycles while intoxicated, partly due to the fact that it keeps them out from behind the wheels of motor vehicles.

Why does it matter if riding a bike is okay when you're drunk?

Imagine if it wasn't okay. Some people would think that there was no difference between driving home drunk in a car or riding home drunk on a bike. Both could get them in trouble with the law, so there would be no reason for anyone to choose the safer path of taking a bicycle home.

While bicyclists can still cause accidents, it's significantly safer to ride a bike while intoxicated than to drive a motor vehicle that can reach high speeds and cause serious damage in a collision.

While it's always better to be sober regardless of the vehicle, many people agree that a bicycle is a better option. At least on a bicycle, if you hit a pedestrian or another person on a bicycle, you're less likely to cause serious injuries to yourself or to them. The deputy director of the Bike Federation of Wisconsin put it frankly by stating that if you crash on a bicycle, it is more likely you who will suffer the consequences than the other party.

If you're stopped for public intoxication or accused of an OWI despite being on a bike, you can fight the charges. You shouldn't face penalties as long as you're following the law. Our website has more information.

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