Do DUI Laws Apply When Riding A Bicycle?

DUI stands for driving under the influence. The term is pretty self-explanatory, and everyone knows that driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or other drugs is illegal. It is illegal because alcohol impairs your judgment and vision, two things that are important for maintaining safety on the road. 

All states in America prohibit drinking and driving. Now, the question arises- can you ride a bicycle on your way home after drinking alcohol at a party? To prevent being charged with criminal offenses and ruining your record, you must educate yourself about the DUI laws in your state. A Portland bicycle accident lawyer can help protect your rights and represent your case. 

Do DUI laws apply to bicycle riders?

Whether DUI laws apply to bicycle riders depends on which state you reside in. All the states of the US have different laws. In some states, DUI laws do not apply to bicycles as their definition of “vehicle” is motor vehicles, which does not include motorless bikes. Thus, DUIs only cover motor vehicles. However, in a few states of the US, there are laws prohibiting biking under the influence. These laws are called drunk biking laws rather than DUIs. 

Can you receive a DUI charge as a cyclist?

As we have stated above, cyclists can get charged for biking under the influence rather than DUI. If you are caught biking under the influence of alcohol, you can face similar charges as a DUI. Drunk biking charges are in no way lighter than DUI charges, and thus, you should avoid them as much as possible. Parents must also discuss the health and legal consequences of such practices with their children. 

Why do drunk biking laws exist?

The government has established drunk biking laws because, even though a motorless bike is not as fast and powerful as a motorcycle, it can still pose a threat to the rider and other people on the road. A cyclist with impaired vision is very likely to crash into oncoming traffic and hurt themselves. Accidents like these have a very high probability of resulting in death. 

Can you fight a bicycle DUI charge?

Generally, drunk biking laws are the same as a motor vehicle DUI charge. However, prosecutors might agree to offer a plea bargain for the bicycle case, which is not a common scenario in motor vehicle cases. This is because the government’s main aim is to enforce laws to minimize the risk of accidents on the road. And since bicycles pose less risk than motor vehicle accidents, prosecutors might be more lenient. 

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