You probably already know that you can be arrested for DUI if you drive a car while drunk or high. However, you may wonder Can You Get a DUI On a Bicycle in the state in which you live.
It is true that getting a DUI on a bike is rarer and even somewhat unheard of in some parts of the country. Still, you should learn under what circumstances you could get a bicycle DUI anywhere in the U.S.
How Can You Get a DUI on a Bicycle?
So Can You Get a DUI on a Bicycle or is it unlikely that a police officer will even bother with stopping and testing you for intoxication? Police officers in all 50 states are primarily focused on stopping drunk drivers who get behind the wheel of a car or truck. However, they can and will stop inebriated bicyclists under the right circumstances.
Still, most states do not have definitive DUI bike laws on the books and leave it up to the discretion of the police to determine whether or not to detain bicyclists who are drunk. State laws throughout the country do not categorize a bicycle as a vehicle, in fact. To fit this description, a vehicle must be powered by a motor or engine and not something that is powered by peddling.
As such, it is uncommon that police will issue you a bicycle DUI if the state you are in fails to define a bicycle as a vehicle. While the answer to Can You Get DUI on a Bicycle in most states is a solid no, you should still be aware of when and how you could get a bicycle DUI if the police catch you being drunk in public.
When Can You Get a DUI on a Bicycle in Your State?
Police throughout the U.S. may not be allowed by law to ticket or issue a DUI on a bike simply because you are riding on a bicycle while inebriated. However, they could give you a citation or even arrest you if your drunken bicycling corresponds with any of these other offenses that would allow for your ticketing, arrest, and sentencing for DUI on a bike.
Most states have laws that prohibit people from being drunk while out in public. Public drunkenness laws are designed to keep the peace and order in society.
With that, if you are out riding a bicycle while drunk, you could be issued a DUI on a bike not so much because you are operating a bicycle while inebriated but because you are out in public while drunk. This DUI on a bike ticket could cost you upwards of $100 or more depending on where you live. You may even have to show up to court and face punishments like community service or a brief stint in jail if you are a repeat offender.
Another answer to the question of Can You Get a DUI on a Bicycle centers on whether or not you are behaving lewdly while in public. As with public intoxication, most states have laws on the books that prohibit lewd behavior in public. If you are riding a bicycle while inebriated and acting in a sordid manner, you could get a DUI on a bike for the manner in which you are acting in public.
Lewd behavior can range from being naked or acting in a sexually suggestive manner. If you are riding a bicycle while drunk and behaving in a way that could be construed as inappropriate, you could get a DUI on a bike and be forced to appear before a judge in court.
Public Safety Risk
If you wonder when and how Can You Get a DUI on a Bicycle in your state, you should consider the responsibility that police have to keep the public safe. Bicyclists who are drunk pose a risk to drivers on city roads and highways as well as bystanders and pedestrians.
As such, if you are drunk while riding a bicycle, you could get a DUI as well as an additional citation for being a public safety risk. Drivers may have to slam on their breaks or weave in and out of traffic to avoid hitting you. Pedestrians and bystanders likewise might have to clear the way or take a different route to avoid coming into contact with you.
Everyone has equal access to roadways and sidewalks in your state. However, when you pose a hazard to people out in public, you could get a bike DUI simply because you are forcing others to tolerate and adjust their routines to your hazardous behavior.
Inebriated motorists are not the only ones who can inflict bodily harm on others who cross these drivers’ paths. Drunk bicyclists likewise can cause injury or harm to people like pedestrians, bystanders, and even motorists.
If you inflict bodily harm on anyone while you are riding a bicycle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you will likely be arrested for DUI and taken to the police station. The court will not treat your case any differently than anyone else who was arrested for driving under the influence.
With that, you could face punishments like steep fines, jail time, community service, or house arrest. While your primary crime will not have been riding a bicycle while drunk, you will be arrested if you hurt or injure someone while you are bicycling under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Finally, if you wonder Can You Get a DUI On a Bicycle, you should consider the legal consequences of what would happen if you damaged property while biking while drunk. Just as with driving under the influence, you could be ticketed, arrested, and tried for a bike DUI if you damage someone’s property.
Most states define property as land, homes, cars, mail boxes, and other assets. However, it also extends to animals and pets in many states. As such, if you run over someone’s cat or dog while biking drunk, you could be arrested for DUI even if you are on a bicycle rather than behind the wheel of a car.
How a Lawyer Can Help
A DUI lawyer can help you even if you got your DUI citation and arrest while riding a bicycle rather than driving a car. As mentioned, the answer to Can You Get a DUI On A Bicycle varies from state to state and the circumstances that apply to each case.
You should not stake your legal and financial future on showing up to court alone. By hiring a DUI attorney, you can find out what those biking while drunk laws are in your state and what chances you have to beat the DUI on a bicycle charge against you.
With a skilled DUI lawyer’s help, you may be able to get the charges against you dropped or reduced. You also may escape the worst punishments of your other DUI bike-related offenses like bodily harm, public drunkenness, and other crimes of which you have been accused.
Does the state that you live in define a bicycle as a vehicle? What other DUI crimes can you be arrested for and convicted of if you ride a bicycle in public while drunk? What kinds of punishments could you face if you are found guilty of biking in public while you are drunk or high?
The answers to these questions and more depend greatly on the biking under the influence laws where you live. You can get the answers to your concerns and beat any bike-related DUI charges against you by hiring a skilled DUI lawyer to help you after you have been arrested or ticketed for biking under the influence of drugs or alcohol.