Friday, August 16, 2013

In NM , a bicycle is not a vehicle.

Just in case someone asks. This can, on occasion, be an important point of law to know. For example.

66-8-102. Driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs; aggravated driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs; penalties.
A.     It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of intoxicating liquor to drive a vehicle within this state. 


Section 66-1-4.19 - Definitions.

66-1-4.19. Definitions. 
As used in the Motor Vehicle Code:
A.     "validating sticker" means the tab or sticker issued by the division to signify, upon a registration plate, renewed registration;
B.     "vehicle" means every device in, upon or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, including any frame, chassis, body or unitized frame and body of any vehicle or motor vehicle, except devices moved exclusively by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks; and
C.     "vehicle-business number" means the distinctive registration number given by the division to any manufacturer, auto recycler or dealer.

Therefore, since DUI is specific to the operator of a vehicle, and a bicycle is not considered a vehicle, a cyclist should be exempt from this law due to the construction of the law. Ken McLeod of the LAB agrees. Author's Note to readers. I am not telling you that bicycling drunk is a particularly good idea. I'm using this as an example of how one must read the law carefully to see how it applies to a cyclist. As far as BUI (bicycling under the influence), the same story applies about the deterioration of good judgement, reaction time, situational awareness, coordination, and common sense. Don't ask me how I know that....


Section 66-3-702 - Traffic laws apply to persons riding bicycles.

66-3-702. Traffic laws apply to persons riding bicycles.
Every person riding a bicycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle, except as to the special regulations within Sections 66-3-701 through 66-3-707 NMSA 1978.   

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