Update: After this post, the law regarding mopeds was changed. The law as of now, June 2009, is that you can drive a moped if you are suspended pursuant to an administrative suspension but not if you are suspended as a result of a DUI criminal court conviction. Like most things in Kansas DUI law, it is confusing.
As of a few years ago, the suspension periods in the State of Kansas got a lot longer, especially for people who invoke their right to refuse to take a breath test. Since most places in Kansas (and Missouri, for that matter) don’t have taxicabs, much less buses or subways, this makes it nearly impossible to get around legally while suspended. I frequently get asked what a person is supposed to do if he or she gets suspended for a long period of time. Drivers ask, “How does the State expect me to get to work” during a one, two or three year suspension. Well, the short answer is that they don’t care. If you lose your job and have to go live under a bridge, that won’t be their problem.
But there is one alternative. In the State of Kansas, a person who is suspended for a DUI can usually get a Class C driver’s license which will permit them to operate a “motorized bicycle”, also known as a moped or scooter. This is authorized by a statute, KSA 8-235. This may not be a very attractive option for many people, however, it may beat walking. A motorized bicycle is defined as a device with 2 or 3 wheels which has a motor which produces not more that 3.5 brake horsepower, has a cylinder capacity of 130 cc or less, and is capable of a maimum design speed of not more than 30 miles per hour. KSA 8-126. This license is available to those who have been suspended for a conviction or administrative suspension for DUI. It is not available to persons revoked as a habitual violator.
I had a client who was a motorcyle mechanic. He had lost his license to drive before he ever came to me. So, even though I ultimately got a “not guilty” verdict for him at trial, he had lost his license for one year. He took a moped frame and built a vehicle at looked almost exactly like a slightly smaller version of a Harley Davidson. It was pretty cool actually. He got the Class C license. He was stopped by a police officer for some reason who verified that the motor was the correct size and that my client was properly licensed. No problem.
So, there is this alternative to not driving a car or breaking the law by driving while suspended. At least you can get to and from the grocery store, even if you have to keep your helmet on in the store so no one recognizes you.