New Painkiller Warnings, National Politics Update, Drunk Biking In Wisconsin

Air Date:
Heard On Central Time

It’s been a big week for national news both at home and abroad, with Scott Walker jumping into the presidential race and nuclear agreement with Iran. Our guest breaks down the biggest stories from around the country. We also hear about new warnings on popular over-the-counter painkillers. Then we talk to a reporter and a biking advocate about drunk biking in Wisconsin.

Featured in this Show

  • Should Drunken Biking Be Illegal In Wisconsin?

    Although quick to condemn intoxicated bicycling, the head of the Wisconsin Bicycle Federation mostly punted when asked if the state should pass laws against drunken biking.

    “The Bike Fed doesn’t have a position on that,” said Dave Cieslewicz. “We’re a member-driven organization so that if that issue did come up as a serious proposal, we’d take a look at it with our board of directors and take a formal position at that time.”

    He added, “But, we certainly don’t have any problem saying biking while intoxicated is just a bad idea. It’s not good for your safety and it’s not good for the safety of others.”

    Wisconsin is one of 29 states with no laws against biking while drunk. In Pennsylvania, intoxicated cyclists often face the same repercussions as drunken drivers, including license suspensions and other penalties. In California, drunken biking is considered a misdemeanor.

    According to the most recent data available from the Governors Highway Safety Association, 722 bicyclists were killed by motor vehicles in 2012. The report found that one in four adult bicyclists killed that year were impaired by alcohol.

    Cieslewicz, who formerly served as the mayor of Madison, cautioned riders when deciding whether to peddle home after drinking.

    “A couple of beers is probably no problem at all,” he said. “But, obviously, the more you drink, the more impaired you become. So, I think it’s a good idea for folks not to feel that somehow simply because they’re biking and not driving that it’s OK to drink more than you would if you were getting behind the wheel of a car.”

    The Capital Times reporter Steven Elbow recently wrote about drunken biking and found that some people had little reservations about biking while drunk.

    “People don’t think twice about hopping on their bike when they’re pretty sloshed,” he said. “People in general are pretty adamant about not getting behind the wheel of a car.”

    In his story, Elbow cited a 1997 Johns Hopkins study in which he reports “found that at a 0.02 alcohol concentration, a cyclist is six times more likely to suffer a serious or fatal injury. At 0.08 percent, the risk increased 20 fold. The study also found that intoxicated cyclists are less likely to use a helmet and more likely to engage in reckless behavior.”

  • Popular Painkillers To Receive Stronger Warnings From FDA

    The Food and Drug Administration is moving to strengthen safety warnings on popular painkillers knows as Nsaids – drugs like ibuprofen and Advil. A communications and health expert explains the changes.

  • This Week In Washington – July 15, 2015

    Harry Enten, senior political writer and analyst for FiveThirtyEight, joins Central Time for our weekly look at the most pressing issues in national politics.

  • Drunk Biking In Wisconsin

    Summer is prime biking season in the Midwest, and Wisconsin is one of 29 states that doesn’t have any laws against drunk biking. A reporter and a biking advocate discuss biking and drinking in Wisconsin.

Episode Credits

  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Veronica Rueckert Host
  • Amanda Magnus Producer
  • Chris Malina Producer
  • Galen Druke Producer
  • Dave Cieslewicz Guest
  • Steven Elbow Guest
  • Bruce Lambert Guest
  • Harry Enten Guest

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