Tag Archives: dui

Can you get a DUI on a bicycle

Can you get a DUI on a bicycle

UPDATE NEWS:

Another attorney pointed this out to me, seems very apt for today’s news. Here’s today’s news:

October 13, 2013 Woman killed on a bicycle

I hope she figures out which attorney to get.

Original post:

Can you get cited for Driving Under the Influence while on a bicycle?

Absolutely not. If your bicycle has a motor, you are on a moped, and the answer is YES, you can get a DUI on a moped, on a bicycle? Absolutely not.

It shocks me how many people think that you can get a DUI on a bicycle. Just this week I was with a group of attorneys who do a lot of DUIs, make a living on them. And one said to the group “Do you know you can get a DUI on the bicycle? It’s true!”

The group agreed. Probably to be more polite than anything. But one person even said that they saw someone convicted of a DUI! But you can’t, at least not the way the law has been for the last ten years. Let me explain how lawyers (should) look at laws:

I. Read the Law. Again.

The most useful skill I learned in law school was not in a criminal law class, but in a business law class. The teacher called in Close text interpretation, at least, I think that’s what he called it.

II. Close Text Interpretation

The rule we learn at the Public Defender’s office is this: “Re-read the law, every time.” Every time a new case lands on your desk, re-read the law, every time. You’ve done 1,000 DUI cases and there’s another one on your desk? Re-read the law, every time. There’s always something new that shows up.

III. DUI law

In Hawaii, the DUI law is called Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence of an Intoxicant.  Here we’re going to call it DUI, since everyone I know, even the judges, call it DUI. Most laws get one statute, DUI has evolved to have it’s own section of statutes. Any statute that begins with 291E have some relation to the DUI law.

a. The DUI law is HRS 291E-61

The definition of DUI is held in Hawaii Revised Statutes sec. 291E-61 and reads below:

 

A person commits the offense of operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant if the person operates or assumes actual physical control

 

This is not the FULL text of the DUI law. This is just the charging section. This is the part that is relevant to today’s issue.  Actually, we can reduce that part to a shorter section:

 

Hawaii Revised Statute 291e-61 defines DUI as: A person commits the offense of operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant if the person operates or assumes actual physical control

 

And here’s where the confusion lies:

Notice the first sentence: “VEHICLE” what does that mean? Notice most laws talk about “Motor Vehicle”. But we’re not talking about Motor Vehicle here. Why?

BUT before we get to the problem, let’s finish the close text analysis. The rule is Definitions, ALWAYS definitions.

b. Read the Definitions in HRS 291E-1

Hawaii makes definitions easy, they’re almost always (ALMOST!) in the first section of the same statute. here we find vehicle. The definition is found in Hawaii Revised Statute sec. 291E-1:

Vehicle is defined as (1) Motor Vehicle. (2) Moped; and (3) Vessel. The Definition of Vessel is a boat on the water.

III. Answer:

Vehicle means Motor Vehicle. Is a bicycle a motor vehicle? no. Case closed.

If you get drunk on a bicycle, don't drive into traffic.

YOU CANNOT GET A DUI ON A BICYCLE. (as long as it doesn’t have a Motor.)

Addendum: Answers are easy, why the confusion?

Confusion is more fun to figure out.

Here’s why, the Hawaii Revised Statutes criminal traffic sections define “Vehicle” no fewer than three times!

There’s the above.

There’s HRS Sec. 291C-001:      “Vehicle” means every device in, upon, or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a roadway or highway, including mopeds and bicycles, but excluding toy bicycles, devices other than bicycles moved by human power, and devices used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.

And there’s HRS sec. 286-002:   “Vehicle” means every device in, upon, or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, but excludes devices moved by human power or devices used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks and mopeds.

And then I got tired of looking things up.

Three sections, three different definitions, SAME WORD. Notice, for 291C-1, both bicycles and mopeds are vehicles. For 286-2, both bicycles and mopeds are NOT vehicles. Whoever the attorneys were who believed that you can get a DUI on a bicycle, got their definition statutes confused.

Hawaii laws that can be enforced on both a bicycle and a car.

On closer look, the charges you CAN get while riding a bicycle include

  1. speeding ticket
  2. racing charge

On the other hand if you get a Hawaii Revised Statutes sec. 291-2 Reckless Driving charge while on a bicycle, now there is a problem, because which statutory definition of “Vehicle” applies, since there is none! Horse on the other hand is explicit. Guilty!

And that’s the long way to say, Drink and Bike is legal, just make sure your balance is good enough to you don’t land face first!


Announcing the Honolulu Roadblock Map!

Announcing the Honolulu Roadblock Map!

Today we hit, and surpassed, 250 Facebook likes!

So, to thank all of you who have been such good fans and customers, we accelerated the schedule on our next big web update and decided to announce early our latest contribution to the Hawaii legal community.

We spent our time collating and organizing the map of the Honolulu Police Department’s Roadblocks and Speeding Operations.  The purpose of this map is to allow you to see, graphically, where the Honolulu Police Department have been concentrating their traffic arrests.

Plan ahead to avoid the roadblocks and speed traps. This will not tell you all of them, but it will definitely tell you where the police have made traffic stops before. On some corners in excess of 100 speeding stops in a short period of time.

See our latest:Click!

Lawyer Headlines in Honolulu DUI

Lawyer Headlines in Honolulu DUI

I had the most wonderful visitors in my office last week.  After visiting during my one-year anniversary party, Nonstop Honolulu Online Entertainment and Hawaii: In Real Life decided to do a profile of me.  During my time helping out the food trucks I got to know Melissa Chang and Russ Sumida through another attorney I commonly associate with, Ryan K. Hew Esq., and they all became familiar with my work. After speaking to a couple of the people I defended, and getting to see me speak before the City Council, they decided I needed to be one of the local businesses they profile in their online magazine every week.

For me, even being considered to stand with the ranks of local businesses like Leonard’s Bakery, Brasserie Du Vin, and Hank’s Haute Dogs is a humbling experience.  I also appreciate the crew stepping out of the regular comfort zone of restaurants and retail, to profile a business that so many people want to divert with the joke “well, I hope I never need your services”.  So I kind of chuckled and stumbled my way through two videos, both of which went almost double overtime.

Read the profile! Click here->Nonstop!

Look at the tip of my pen, don't move your head. -- Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus

The first video is something we could do quick and easy.  DUI is something I’ve been doing for years, and it is always fun to sit around and give each other the Field Sobriety Test. Actually, while reviewing the tape, I think I might’ve changed Melissa’s score (I noticed a couple extra clues I missed because I was thinking about the camera.  She’s lucky she got away with a warning!

Here’s the video with the DUI test:

And here’s the video with us just talking. Mainly just explaining the story about how a lawyer used the law to save my family’s lives. The inspiration behind me going to law school and moving up. Also, it’s one of the few times I think you might actually be able to tell I’m nervous.  Usually I’m much better at hiding it!

 Now to update both the DUI pages of the website as well as the Press sections of the website. And while this is a great way to start July, be careful out there. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser just updated their breaking news with this:
For more frequent updates, follow us on twitter, Melissa Chang says!

It’s been a Year!

It's been a Year!

It’s a Celebration!

It’s been One year!

I can hardly believe its already been a year.

And at the same time I can hardly believe it’s ONLY been a year!

In May of 2011 I had finally had enough. I steeled myself, took the tear-stained letter sitting in my desk far too long in hand and told my boss, “I can’t play for this team anymore. It’s time for me to do it on my own.”

He looked me in the eye, and didn’t tell me to stay, didn’t try to talk me out of my decision.  He looked at me and nodded, “You know, I think you’ll make it.  You’ve really grown up while you’ve been in this office.” This is especially surprising, as he hadn’t really talked to me much over the past few years. He chuckled about dunderheaded stunts I pulled years before. And he recounted recent victories that even I wouldn’t have believed if I hadn’t been there.

I know this is something you’ve obviously thought a lot about. I know you’ll succeed.”

And what a success this year has been! And to celebrate that success I want to invite ALL readers of my blog to the “One Year Birthday Party” where like any good birthday party, we’ll have cake and ice cream, both provided by successful clients of the last year.

Party Invite. And year one highs:Click Me!

Donations from:

New Web Page

While I send you over there this is another celebration of the New Year is the facelift of the old WordPress blog into the current “808crime.com” website. It’s brand new (less than a few days old) but it’s pages and pages deep. Please give feedback, tell me what you think, and provide any other suggestions that might be important!

See the new page:Click here!
 
New DUI Handbook

And lastly I want to announce the “Landsberg Law Office DUI Manual”. I’ve been giving the same DUI speech for nearly ten years, updated only as laws changed, I figured “why not just write it down”? It’s also the one charge people ask about, who never have any other run-in with the law. Information should be free, it is technique that I charge for. So rather than telling each person this information individually, now everybody has my thoughts on general DUI cases and practice in Honolulu, Hawaii.

So it officially went live today, the “Landsberg Law Office DUI Manual”. Read it before they force me to take it down. If you have any questions/comments, there’s a comment section on that page, let me know what you think!

DUI. Get the manual now:Download

Finally, I want to thank each and every person who reads this. I love all of you, and I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without your help, support and love. My wife and I appreciate each and every one of you in our lives. I named the office after myself, but if you’re reading this, you have some personal ownership in the success it has become.

Thank you, for one of the greatest years of my life.

Let’s go make some more!

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Hawaii Criminal Defense: The Legal Blog

Issues in Hawaii Law.

Below is a collection of Articles I've written about Hawaii law.  Most are about criminal defense, Honolulu trial work, or future legal trends. Courtroom experience is probably the most common.  Others are comments on local or national law.  Hopefully there is something for you to find and enjoy.  If nothing else, you'll see the way I feel about certain issues, and the thought processes I put into legal problems we solve.

And some stories are just too funny NOT to tell.......

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