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OWI On A Bike | WI OWI Laws | Eisenberg Law

Is It Possible to Receive an OWI on a Bike in Wisconsin?

Drunk driving is punished severely in Wisconsin, but what qualifies as “driving”? Can you get an OWI on a bike? Technically, the answer is no, you cannot be charged with OWI for riding a bike while intoxicated. However, that does not mean you cannot be charged with other offenses.

OWI and Motor Vehicles

The reason you cannot be charged with OWI on a bike comes down to statutory definitions. In Wisconsin, the statutory definition of operating while intoxicated expressly prohibits the driving or operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant or controlled substance.

Under Wisconsin State Statute 340.01(35), a bicycle is not considered a motor vehicle. The statute defines a motor vehicle as: “a vehicle, including a combination of 2 or more vehicles or an articulated vehicle, which is self-propelled”. This includes snowmobiles, ATVs and UTVs, electric scooters, and electric personal assistive mobility devices, but specifically excludes electric bicycles.

Since bicycles are not self-propelled, they are not considered motor vehicles and not subject to laws governing the use and operation of motor vehicles, including motor vehicle OWI laws.

If you are under investigation, protect your driving record and ability to drive with help from our skilled OWI defense lawyers. Contact us to arrange a free consultation by calling 608-256-8356 or emailing today.