Sober Bikers United, Inc. (SBU) By-Laws:
(Amended July 30th, 2023)
By-laws Sober Bikers United (SBU) is a social association that respects the time-honored traditions of motorcycle clubs by not trying to mimic them. SBU has adopted a set of bylaws that are purely for legal purposes of Non-Profit Incorporation. These bylaws are not intended to represent SBU as a traditional MC. When initially founded, December 1999, with a proprietorship created January 2000, SBU established a set of guidelines that were not intended to be restrictive or directive. For that reason, they were considered “guidelines” and not “bylaws.” As SBU grew and became more active, there was a need to protect the founders and SBU as a whole from frivolous lawsuits. Also, the founders had a long-term goal for SBU to live on as a non-profit organization long after the founders were gone. To accomplish this, SBU took the next step in that direction and in September 2003 SBU became a corporation. Stock was established and then split between two unrelated people. This was to prevent any one person or family from being in “control” of SBU. To legally incorporate, SBU had to adopt a set of bylaws. Using a majority vote of five directors, one by one, each article of the bylaws was established by making slight modifications to the already existing guidelines. No member or supporter is required to memorize these by-laws, however, we do ask each new member or supporter to read them through at least once to be fully aware of the true purpose and goals of the organization before they join.
Purpose: Sober Bikers United, Inc. is a not for profit social association. The membership body offers fellowship to motorcyclists in recovery from drug and or alcohol abuse. Sober Bikers United, Inc. is not a recovery program or a religion in itself. Sober Bikers United, Inc. does not endorse one recovery program, religion or religious denomination as superior to another. However, the influence of Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and a Higher Power is strong within Sober Bikers United, Inc. Members are encouraged to take whatever steps necessary for them to live a clean, sober and legal lifestyle. Sober Bikers United, Inc. is to be self supporting via non tax deductible dues from membership and sales of Sober Bikers United, Inc. products within said membership. All members/supporters serving SBU in any capacity are volunteers. The membership is most appreciative and grateful for their service.
Member Definition: SBU Member is a person who abstains 100% from any mind altering substances for recreational use. This should not, in any way, prohibit the use of any medications prescribed by a licensed health care professional.
Supporter Definition: SBU Supporter is a person without an addiction problem who supports the clean and sober lifestyle of recovering addicts and alcoholics. A supporter will never present or use any substance at an SBU event and never use any substance while wearing SBU merchandise.
1) SBU is a social association, the insignia of which is a circle separated by an S shape design of two different colors, black on one side and white on the other. Within each half is a hand of the opposite color reaching towards the other hand. Circling around this symbol are the words “Sober Bikers United”. This logo shall serve to identify one member to another while traveling or attending events.
2) The above described logo when used with the wording “Sober Bikers United” is registered with the United States Patent + Trademark Office, Registration # 3526965. Any use of this Logo without the express written permission of the Board of Directors of Sober Bikers United is strictly forbidden and punishable by law
Patches, etc. We at Sober Bikers United are a NEUTRAL ASSOCIATION. Members are welcome to wear patches of their choice that may not be misunderstood as affiliating with Motorcycle Clubs (hereafter referred to as MC). We must refrain from wearing any type rocker patch or patches, pins, symbols, numbers, or colors, that may affiliate or seem to create any type of an alliance with any MC. As we travel through the world of the riding community, we stand alone for Sober Bikers United. We need to be mindful that we are a clean and sober group, and patches and pins should stay just that. The BOD of SBU reserves the right to restrict patches that may be detrimental or dangerous to the well-being of SBU or it’s members.
SBU Merchandise/Products: Neither SBU products nor merchandise displaying the SBU logo or the words “Sober Bikers United” shall be sold to any persons other than active members or supporters. Active members and supporters are persons whose membership dues are current. Under certain circumstances, an SBU Chapter may produce “Special Events or Fund Raiser” products to be sold to Non SBU members. Any and all events, fund raisers, copy, and art work must be approved by the BOD.
Affiliations, Coalitions, Federations etc.: Sober Bikers United, Inc. is an association, not a motorcycle club. Therefore, as an association, Sober Bikers United, Inc. cannot enter into affiliations, coalitions, federations etc, as a motorcycle club would. Being a Social Organization Sober Bikers United will and must remain NEUTRAL with respect to all motorcycle clubs. However, Sober Bikers United, Inc. accepts its responsibility to help support bikers rights organizations as best it can on the National level. State level SBU chapters have no authority to use the Sober Bikers United, Inc. name to join any groups of any kind without permission from the Board of Directors. Sober Bikers United, Inc. respects all traditional motorcycle clubs and in no way means any disrespect to any of them. The Sober Bikers United, Inc. membership is urged to use judgment with regard to wearing any support items. Misunderstanding can easily happen as we travel across the country and from events.
Runs, Events & Meetings: There are no mandatory runs, events or chapter meetings in Sober Bikers United, Inc. We are indeed a social association and highly encourage our members to get together for such events. Directors will try to coordinate one or more events per year; however, no event or run will be mandatory. Chapters are encouraged to plan fun gatherings and rides to various events as often as they want but should never pressure members/supporters to attend. We are about social fun not mandatory attendance.
Leadership: Sober Bikers United is a nonprofit organization that is overseen by a Board of Directors (BOD). The BOD will consist of five members.
A) All Directors are voted on by any member/supporter in SBU.
B) There will be only two BOD members per State but must be from different Chapters.
C) A full BOD term is four years.
D) After serving a full term on the BOD, a member/supporter must have at least one complete election cycle off.
E) All BOD members shall have a minimum of three continuous years of SBU membership and have been clean & sober for three continuous years or be a supporter with three continuous years in SBU.
F) Should the head count on the board fall below 5 the BOD will appoint a replacement to serve out the remaining vacated term.
G) The BOD will, when possible, appoint the person receiving the next highest vote tally during the last annual election process. If this is not possible for any reason, the BOD will exercise their judgment within accordance of the by-laws and select a person to fill the vacancy.
H) Any appointee serving less than a 2 year term shall be eligible to become a candidate in the next election after serving his/her appointed term.
2) By February 1st, the newly elected BOD will select one of the BOD members to serve as Chairperson of the board (COB).
A) The COB will serve as the primary spokesperson of Sober Bikers United, Inc.
B) The COB will facilitate all BOD meetings.
C) The COB may also assign varied duties to the BOD members dealing with record keeping and oversight. The BOD may appoint an ad-hoc committee when needed to research specific topics or formulate recommendations. Additionally, persons performing specific tasks (webmaster, treasurer, etc.) may be appointed by the BOD. These appointments will not constitute official or permanent leadership/managerial positions and are only for a general task during a limited period of time as needed.
D) COB will maintain list of SBU member information and email list.
E) The COB will also prepare BOD meeting agendas at least two weeks in advance of the meeting. And also ensure the minutes of such meetings are posted for membership review.
F) The BOD will hold a one hour meeting via (SBU Zoom) every other month, open to all Members who care to observe and participate during the first half hour of this open meeting. At this time the BOD will welcome suggestions, complaints, or request.
1) The second half hour of this meeting will be the Official BOD Meeting, giving minutes, finances, number of Members, voting on any issues. Members will refrain from participation, unless requested by a BOD Member.
- 2) This Official BOD Meeting will be posted on SBU web site for 6 months for any Member to observe.
3) The Official BOD Meeting will end at the end of the half hour and any unfinished business will be carried over until next scheduled BOD Meeting.
F) This meeting will be held on the last Sunday at eight PM eastern standard time every other month. Exceptions may be made for special circumstances and announced to the membership as soon as possible.
G) Any BOD member may bring an issue to the next scheduled meeting for discussion or vote. It is requested that State Representatives bring topics & concerns from their local members to the BOD two weeks before the chat meeting to be added to the agenda.
H) Any BOD assigned task given to a member/supporter will have at least one BOD member assigned to assist in said task.
4) Any member of the BOD absence from (3) consecutive regularly scheduled Board meetings shall be brought to the attention of the COB and BOD for discussion and possible dismissal. Any BOD member, knowing that they may be absent from a regularly scheduled BOD meeting, may contact the COB and proxy vote upcoming matters. This will be called Excusable Absence and would be considered in discussion before a final dismissal.
5) There will never be club Officers other then Board of Directors. During a National Run, Road Captains or Sgt. at Arms may be appointed by the hosting chapter. These should be people familiar with the local area when possible. These are temporary and honorary positions to aid in the organization of a national run and will last only during the national run. Any problems encountered by the Sgt. at Arms or Road Captain(s) should be reported as soon as possible to a member of the BOD.
Rotation of BOD seats:
Seat 1: 2023 Kevin, OH
Seat 2: 2025 Coolbreeze, MO
Seat 3: 2026 Specz, FL
Seat 4: 2027 BikrChick, NC
Seat 5: 2024 Tinman, FL *COB*
1) All elections will be conducted via internet voting system. State Reps. may vote by proxy for their members/supporters without internet service and two BOD will phone the member/supporter to validate their vote. Votes will also be tallied by two BOD members from different states.
2) Only one vote per member/supporter.
3) The first vote submitted from each member will be counted, no exceptions.
4) On each election year the BOD will compile a list of candidates that are eligible under bylaw guidelines (Leadership 2E), to be contacted by a member of the BOD to ascertain whether they desire to be nominated for voting purposes. Individuals eligible should respond by Dec 12th so that a list a candidates can be released to the membership by Dec 15th for consideration in the Jan election.
In the event there is only one BOD candidate:
1) Candidate must meet requirements as stated in the By-Laws.
2) Upon unanimous approval by the sitting BOD said candidate will win the seat by default. In such instances general membership election for that year will be waived. In the event the vote is not unanimous BOD will continue seeking candidates until a unanimous appointment can be reached.
In the event there are no candidates for open BOD seat:
1) The second most voted for candidate from the last documented election will be offered the open position. Should there not be a runner up see #2.
2) The Director whose term has expired may be asked to extend his term temporarily, although the BOD will begin actively seeking a new Director (must meet all requirements).
3) Once a member has accepted candidacy, then the approved one candidate voting procedure will be followed, general membership voting could be waived in this instance.
4) Voting will be conducted January 1st thru the 15th.
5) Two BOD members will verify and tabulate the votes, with results to be announced no later than January 16th or the first business day following the 15th.
6) Newly elected Director assumes their duties on February 1st.
Treasurer: Treasurer is responsible for all accounts both payable and receivable.
A) Treasurer must maintain all financial records and handle any financial details required of SBU to maintain our legal status.
B) SBU products are an asset and therefore fall under the control of the Treasurer. The Treasurer may with the permission of the BOD enlist the aid of another person to assist in procuring, storing and shipping of products as needed.
2) The Treasurer will provide the most recent financial report to any member/supporter in good standing upon request.
3) The Treasurer is not authorized to issue payment without BOD approval for any expense exceeding $200.00.
5) Assist COB with maintenance of SBU member information and email list.
6) The Treasurer will oversee sending of Funeral Flowers as described in the following policy:
Funeral Flowers: Sober Bikers United, Inc. (SBU) as a whole will send memorial flowers to members/supporters and their immediate family members services upon such person’s death.
1) Immediate family for this purpose, being defined as, biological Mother, Father, Sister, Brother, Children and Spouse. Although we (BOD) realize that extended family (step parents/siblings, Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents and Cousins) are important in our lives, being that we are a non-profit organization we must monitor our expenses accordingly.
2) In the event deceased member or the family prefer a donation in lieu of flowers then $200.00 will be donated to the organization as designated. Organization for this purpose will be defined as entity that is charitable in nature.
Secretary: The Secretary is responsible for collecting and maintaining all non financial records of SBU activity.
1) Such records must be maintain in a safe and organized fashion so as to be accessible at anytime. Records must be maintained in accordance with Federal and State laws regarding not for profit status.
Web Master: The Web Master is responsible for maintaining the SBU web site in a professional and very secure manner.
1) Webmaster is responsible for adding or removing access to the website’s private areas when members/supporters join or leave SBU
2) The Web Master is responsible to ensure the web site is in good taste and is compatible with all major web browsers in use.
State Representatives: Each State/Province (in some cases, entire Countries) will have one or more Representatives (Reps), depending on the size of the State/Province/Country.
1) Representatives are advisers to the BOD and they will serve as the BOD spokesperson in their respective geographical areas whenever instructed and granted permission by the BOD.
2) Representatives must completely understand and support the SBU Bylaws.
3) Representatives will adhere to and administer any requirements placed upon them by the BOD in regard to the operation of SBU in their area. Each area may have different requirements to operate legally in that area.
4) They will assist Chapter Coordinators with forming chapters and ensure that Chapters are run in accordance with SBU Bylaws and all applicable State laws.
5) State/Province/Country Representatives are appointed by the BOD and subject to reappointment or removal by the BOD at anytime.
Chapter Coordinator/Chapter Secretary: (*See section titled “Chapters” for further description)
1) The Chapter Coordinator and Chapter Secretary will be elected from those claiming to be a part of the chapter and in attendance during the chapter meeting in the third quarter of the year.
2) The Chapter Coordinator will facilitate meetings, runs and events of the chapter. They will assist the BOD and State Rep to maintain the legal operation of SBU.
3) The Chapter Secretary will maintain written records of the chapter’s activity and submit written reports when requested.
Chapters: SBU has no boundaries and claims no territories. SBU uses established geographical boundaries and State lines purely as an organizational tool to help us better keep track of SBU members/supporters. Sober Bikers respects all Motorcycle Clubs and is NEUTRAL with no desire to claim territory. SBU chapters have names that tend to reflect recovery or inspire, they are also numbered to help keep track of them. They have no meaning in regards to claiming any territories or establishing boundaries.
1) A Chapter is made up of three Members/Supporters in nearby geographic areas. They will then be assigned a chapter number and can name the chapter. No Member/Supporter has to be a part of any chapter at any time for any reason.
A) A chapter must continue to have three members/supporters and make required quarterly reports. If the chapter falls below the required three members, the chapter will be listed as “inactive” until growth in their area again. An “inactive” chapter must continue to submit quarterly reports regardless of the number of members.
B) At any time a chapter drops to zero membership (i.e. remaining one or two members do not renew SBU membership) and remains at zero members for 60 or more days, that chapter is considered disbanded.
C) After 2 continuous years of inactive status, a chapter will be considered disbanded regardless of the wishes of the chapter or State Rep. After the 2 years the chapter number may be reassigned to a new chapter.
D) Any newly formed Chapter must wait 3 years before hosting A SBU National.
E) Any new group wanting to form a new chapter must wait 90 days probation period unless it is a state that is splitting up to make more than one chapter
2) An active chapter will meet at least once per quarter of each year.
A) This meeting should be announced well in advance and at a time and place convenient to as many chapter members/supporters as possible.
B) The Coordinator will conduct the meeting and the Secretary will take notes.
C) A report of the meeting, including but not limited to: location, date, time, member/supporters and guests in attendance. All matters discussed and decided upon; also any other activities that the chapter has participated in during the quarter should be included.
D) Once this report is completed, and the Coordinator has approved it, The Secretary will submit it to the National Secretary no later than the last day of the quarter. This report is filed in the history books of SBU.
3) In order to be successful, a chapter must be fair, open and family oriented. The size of a chapter is up to its members and the State/Province/Country Rep.
A) No member/supporter is required to be a part of any chapter regardless of location. However, it is in a recovering person’s best interest to be with like minded people and the leadership of SBU strongly encourages member/supporters to seek active involvement with a chapter.
B) There is to be no required chapter dues of any kind. If a chapter earns money from some form of activity which must be approved by the BOD in advance if the SBU name is going to be used i.e.: a dance, poker run, contest etc. The costs of the event are to be recovered and the remaining balance is to be donated to a local charity, the SBU General Fund or a combination of both to be determined by the chapter. All receipts and records of said event are to be sent into the SBU National Secretary for inclusion into the financial and history files.
4) Should a Chapter ever act in a fashion that does not promote the health, safety and well being of its members/supporters and or SBU as an organization it may be disbanded by the BOD.
5) Any chapter member/supporter with concerns of chapter misconduct should contact the State/Province/Country Rep for assistance.
Dues: Membership dues are $30.00 per person, per year. The year begins the first day of March. Anybody joining before or after that date will have their dues pro-rated accordingly for the remainder of that year, at a rate of $2.50 per month.
Lifetime Membership: With 20 years of continued, uninterrupted membership. A Lifetime members dues will be waived and they will be able to vote and can hold office for Sober Bikers United. If there is a interruption the 20 years begins all over again.
1) At no time may any action be taken which is in conflict with Florida State laws concerning not for profit corporations and/or the SBU Bylaws.
2) All revisions to bylaws or instances that require a BOD vote, need a positive vote from 3 (three) or more Board members (Simple Majority) to pass.
3) Donations and Funding
A) Sober Bikers United is self supporting via events hosted by SBU, dues paid by Members and Supporters and the sales of Sober Bikers United Inc. merchandise to its membership.
B) We may accept unsolicited contributions as long as there are no requirements or conditions imposed upon Sober Bikers United Inc.
C) Our Board of Directors, Members, Supporters and Trusted Servants do not receive any income whatsoever from the Sober Bikers United general fund, from income from sales or events, or from donations & outside contributions.
D) SOBER BIKERS UNITED INC is a 501(c)(7) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 2005, and donations may or may not be tax-deductible.
(Amended July, 30th 2023)