To be convicted of DUI, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
But what exactly is a motor vehicle? Naturally, a car, a truck or a motorcycle springs to mind. But what about a moped or or an electric bicycle?
Under Illinois law, a motor vehicle includes: “Every vehicle which is self-propelled …except for vehicles moved solely by human power, motorized wheelchairs, low-speed electric bicycles, and low-speed gas bicycles.” (625 ILCS 5/1-146). A recent Illinois case reversed a DUI conviction where a defendant’s gas-powered bike did not meet that definition. See People v Grandadam.
Illinois law defines a low-speed gas vehicle as “a 2 or 3-wheeled device with fully operable pedals and a gasoline motor of less than one horsepower, whose maximum speed on a paved level surface, when powered solely by such a motor while ridden by an operator who weighs 170 pounds, is less than 20 miles per hour. (625 ILCS 5/1-140.15). The maximum speed of defendant’s bike was 17 miles per hour when powered solely by the gas motor. (The bike could go faster if pedalled.)
If you are charged with DUI or similar offense, contact an experienced DUI attorney immediately. An attorney may review your case for your best possible defense. Did the police have probable cause to stop you? Can the State able to prove all the elements of your offense? Even if the police acted properly and the evidence against you is overwhelming, an experienced attorney who is respected in the courthouse may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you could on your own.
If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)