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Bicyclists Can be Charged With DUI?

Are you aware that every year, 3 million people lose their lives due to alcohol? A global strategy by the World Health Organization (WHO) is to reduce lethal alcohol use. They seek to help individuals, families, and communities improve their health and social outcomes. 

Dui Law

Overall, WHO is looking to reduce morbidity and mortality rates caused by the harmful use of alcohol. It’s predicted that such global strategies will support and boost local, regional and global steps to prevent and reduce alcoholism. 

The truth is that taking even a tiny amount of alcohol can negatively impact your sense of judgment and reaction. That’s why driving a vehicle is hard if you’re under the influence of alcohol. You’ll be risking your own life and that of travelers, pedestrians, and fellow drivers.

To lower this rik, governments worldwide put legal measures in place. They set limits as to how much you can drink and still drive. Not complying with these rules can attract fines. It can also cause you to lose your driving license or end up in jail. Bicyclists are not an exception.

Does the Law Charge Bicyclists With DUI?

Usually, cyclists are often charged for reasons like driving on sidewalks and running red lights. But, a bicyclist can still end up punished for other inappropriate personal behaviors. An example includes when an alcohol-related disability causes you to ride in a manner that risks public safety.

Road Traffic Act 1988, sec 30 states that; ‘it’s a crime for an individual to cycle in a public place when they’re unfit due to alcohol or drugs. In this case, a person is under the influence of a drink to the extent that they can’t have proper judgment in controlling the cycle. 

If you cycle drunk and risk others’ lives, you can receive a fine of up to £2,500. Such charges are known as DUI (Driving Under Influence).

Most states charge bicyclists with DUI. The laws and penalties imposed on bicycle riders are often similar to those for motor vehicle DUI. 

Now, let’s look at how bicyclists can be charged with DUI. We’ll discover the laws that apply to bicycle riders, plus the consequences of cycling while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

What Happens If You’re Charged With DUI?

If you often or occasionally cycle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you risk an accident, injury, and arrest. If you are charged with DUI, even as a first offense, you’ll require aggressive legal representation from an experienced DUI defense lawyer. 

The case can be treated as a grave crime if you’re charged with DUI in places like Wyoming. While it is possible to face the charges or settle without a lawyer, expert DUI attorneys strongly advised that you should get legal assistance in the proceedings.

The drug charges attorney will offer the right legal advice to help you in the court of law. This means that by letting the legal professional represent you, they have the mandate to fight for you by any means possible.

The criminal defense lawyer will:

  1. Investigate Further the Details About Your Case

The DUI lawyer understands that every case is different, and the laws will treat the issues differently. In this case, the officer who charged you should have a probable reason for administering the DUI test on you. 

The second factor that comes into play is the amount of alcohol the victim consumed. The law pushes police officers to arrest you if:

  • You exceed the legal limit of alcohol in your body- usually, the blood alcohol content in your blood should measure at least 0.08 percent. 
  • You have criminal cycling or driving history before the DUI convictions. The penalties for such convictions get stricter with every subsequent conviction. 
  • Any injuries and damages caused by cycling under the influence are also considered when forming DUI charges against you. 
  1. Explain Your Available Options

After reviewing your case’s details, the DUI lawyers determine your legal options. They then recommend the options that are in your best interests. 

The law firm will work best to have your drunk driving case dismissed. And, if that’s quite difficult, they will seek to have the criminal charges reduced significantly. 

Sometimes, it may become hard to reach an agreement with the prosecutor. There are cases where the evidence against the wrongdoer can be too overwhelming. Thus, it becomes hard to avoid a conviction. 

Still, the defense attorney will work for the best alternative possible in such cases. Thus, the victim can hardly go to trial with the attorney’s intervention. With some types of DUI offenses, the lawyer may settle it with a plea bargain

What Defines Bicycle DUI Laws?

The DUI laws may vary in different states. But, generally, a person is said to have committed a DUI offense when they drive on a highway or public premises under the following conditions:

  • Has at least 08% of alcohol measured in the blood
  • Is defected by alcoholic influence or substance influence.

In some states, the statutes apply specifically to motor vehicles. For others, the laws apply to all vehicles. In those states with DUI laws applying to all vehicles, it’s likely to have a DUI on a bicycle. This is because a bike often falls under the category of a vehicle.

In such states, a vehicle is identified as any device you can use to transport people or property. They are devices drawn on a public highway. This means equipment powered by any means. 

So, in their definition of bicycle, states like Oregon’s vehicle code define bicycles as a form of vehicle. They say that bicycles, too, are devices that can move on public highways, thus in one category with vehicles.


What Are the Possible DUI Penalties for Bicyclists?

The majority of states consider the first DUI conviction a crime. Most of these DUI laws applied to bicycles include the same penalties as that for motor vehicles. 

Depending on your state, the DUI penalties may include:

  • License suspension
  • Fines
  • Community service
  • Possible jail time
  • Probation

However, some states impose bike-specific penalties. They are particular to DUI convictions upon cyclists. In this case, the specific bike penalties may be less severe than those set on motor vehicle counterparts. 

Such might include consequences like bicycle impoundment, which are more specific based on the offense’s nature. So, in most states where bike DUI applies, a conviction will be termed DUI if the rider has been convicted of another case before. 

Usually, the terms for previous convictions are treated alike for bicycles and motor vehicles.

Key Takeaways

Whether or not bicyclists are subjected to DUI laws, cycling on public roads while drunk can cause criminal charges. As an intoxicated bicycle rider, you could easily face charges for reckless driving or public overindulgence.

A judgment for drunk driving, even as a first offense, can have severe and long-term individual and legal consequences. You may end up facing other additional insults that may complicate the matter. 

Fortunately, if you’re facing such criminal charges, you can seek the help of a DUI lawyer. The legal professional will do everything possible to defend your rights. 

Being charged for cycling under drug or alcohol influence often doesn’t immediately make you guilty. The attorney acts to prove your guilt beyond reasonable doubts. So, until your conviction, you’re considered innocent. The criminal defense lawyer ensures that they protect all your rights.


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"Bicyclists Can be Charged With DUI?" was written by Mary under the Legal Advice category. It has been read 331 times and generated 0 comments. The article was created on and updated on 08 August 2022.
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