The Minnesota DWI Case Of The Week is State v. Larson (Decided September 23, 2019, Minnesota Court of Appeals, Unpublished) which stands for the proposition that a bicycle becomes a motor vehicle subject to the Minnesota DWI laws if it has a motor on it.
In Larson, the appellant argued that the state failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he operated a motor vehicle when riding his three-wheeled, motorized bicycle. The Court of Appeals rejected his contention noting that "Minn. Stat. § 169A.20, subd. 1 (2016). Section 169A.03, subd. 15 defines “motor vehicle” as “every vehicle that is self-propelled .... The term includes motorboats in operation and off-road recreational vehicles, but does not include a vehicle moved solely by human power.” The DWI definitions point to chapter 169 for the definition of a “vehicle”: “every device in, upon, or by which any person or property is or may be transported . . . upon a highway.” Minn. Stat. § 169.011, sub. 92 (2016)."
"The relevant statutes are unambiguous and they are only subject to one reasonable interpretation. We therefore construe the words of the statutes according to their plain and ordinary meaning. Accordingly, chapters 169A and 169 provide that when a person under the influence of alcohol operates a device that can transport a person or property upon a highway and is self-propelled, that person commits a crime. But operation of a device that is moved solely by human power while under the influence does not result in a crime under the DWI statutes."
"The motor-vehicle definition provides two requirements for a motor vehicle: (1) self-propelling and (2) not moved solely by human power. Here, the bicycle’s motor, which allows the bicycle to travel up to 40 miles-per-hour, makes the bicycle self-propelling. The motor and gas tank are affixed to the bicycle, and a chain connects the motor to the rear wheel to propel it. Although the record does not support this, Larson argues that his motorized bicycle can also operate solely by being pedaled, without the motor running. Even taking this as true, Larson’s motorized bicycle meets the definition of “motor vehicle” because the motor makes it a self-propelling vehicle, and the bicycle is not solely moved by human power because it has a self-propelling motor."
"Accordingly, we affirm the district court’s ruling that Larson’s motorized bicycle falls under the “motor vehicle” definition, and therefore sufficient evidence supports his conviction."
Moral of the Story: It doesn't matter if you have your motor running.