Can You Get a DUI on a Bike?
Just about everyone is aware of the laws against driving while drunk — but what about operating a bike while intoxicated? Biking is a great way to get outside these days to enjoy the weather and everything that goes with the great outdoors. However, in many states, it’s actually possible to get a DUI if you’re riding a bicycle while you are intoxicated. So, if you are asking yourself, “Can you get a DUI on a bike?” you’ll want to read on.
Can You Get a DUI on a Bike?
Yes, you can. Many states, when they say that you cannot operate a vehicle drunk, refer to any vehicle, including bikes. Others have specific laws that prohibit riding a bike drunk on the road or in any public area. In general, you face the penalty of DUI laws when biking if you have a blood-alcohol level above the limit, or if you are under the influence of a controlled substance, DrivingLaws.org tells us.
What is A State-Specific Example?
According to the Driving Laws article, the state of Oregon defines any device which transports or “draws” people or property on a public highway as a vehicle that is subject to its DUI laws. This includes any vehicle that is powered or propelled by any means. In addition, Oregon’s vehicle code clearly specifies that a bicycle is a type of vehicle.
Other states have similar definitions of a vehicle stating that any device capable of being moved on a public highway or that transports people or property on a public highway is subject to their DUI laws and penalties.
What are the Possible Penalties for a DUI on a bicycle?
The first time you receive a DUI while operating a bicycle or another vehicle, it may be considered a misdemeanor offense. Depending on the state law, you can go to jail, receive a fine, be subject to community service, or be ordered into treatment. In addition, DrivingLaws.org reports that in states where there are separate laws for DUI on a bicycle, if you receive a DUI conviction for operating your bike while intoxicated, it will later count as a DUI prior if you get pulled over from driving while intoxicated in an automobile.
What if There Are No Specific Laws In My State?
In states where you won’t necessarily receive a DUI for operating a bicycle while intoxicated, you may still be fined, arrested, or be subject to a penalty for public intoxication. For more information, here is a 2016 state-by-state guide of what to expect if you are found to be intoxicated while riding your bike under the influence.
Avoid Biking While Drinking
Whether or not you live in a state where you can get arrested riding your bike while intoxicated, it’s unsafe and the repercussions range from unpleasant to severe. For your own safety and for those on the road or any area where you are riding your bike, treat your bike as you would an automobile: don’t get on a bicycle after consuming any alcohol at all.
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