Can You Get a DUI While Riding a Bike?
Not everyone realizes that you can get a DUI for riding a bicycle while drunk. Many use this idea as a punchline, but bicycling drunk is dangerous, and offenders can be charged for it according to their state’s statutes. While most states consider .08 percent to be the legal limit for bikers, the punishments and penalties vary according to state policy.
What Defines a DUI on a Bike?
Laws vary by state, but generally you can face penalties for riding a bicycle under the influence in a public area. This means riding your bike on the street, highway, or other public areas, such as a park.
This is because most states consider a bicycle a “vehicle” and operating any vehicle under the influence is considered illegal.
What are the Penalties for Riding a Bike Under the Influence?
The specific penalties vary by state, but typically you will face consequences similar to a DUI arrest in a car.
The first conviction for this type of DUI is generally a misdemeanor, and includes the following potential penalties:
- Financial penalties: You may have to pay a fine and risk higher insurance premiums as a result.
- License suspension or revocation: Even though you don’t need a license to operate a bike, your driver’s license can still be suspended or revoked if you are caught operating any vehicle while intoxicated, including a bike.
- Jail time or community service: ou may receive a short prison sentence, or a longer one if this is a repeat offense. In some cases, the prison sentence is waived in favor of a certain number of hours of community service and probation.
- Probation: You may be placed on probation, which would limit certain freedoms and also mean more intense consequences if you’re caught for any violation during the probation period.
- Treatment programs: Some may be required to take a substance abuse class or other type of class as mandated by their state.
- Ignition interlock device installation: Some states require an ignition interlock device or IID installation mandatory following a DUI.
Riding your bike might seem like a safer solution, but it can still lead to negative consequences. It’s best to avoid operating any kind of vehicle if you are under the influence.
Additional Charges Bicyclists Under the Influence Face
Even if they are not convicted or charged with DUI, there are other charges bicyclists may be faced with, such as public intoxication or reckless driving. To stay safe, it’s best to get a sober ride home. An attorney can help you with any legal proceedings. Intoxalock partners with many who will know what to do. Find an attorney in your area.