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Some Arizona residents may think that riding a bike to go drinking with friends is a smarter choice. After all, it keeps you out from behind the wheel so it’s safer, right?
But is it?
The Weingart Firm has long represented clients involved in DUI cases that typically involve a motor vehicle, from cars to trucks. Join our team here at The Weingart Firm as we take a look at the actions of biking under the influence, and what it could mean for your record here in Tempe, AZ and beyond.
The simple answer is no. DUIs are reserved for drivers operating motorized vehicles on roadways, whereas bicycles are man-powered. It’s possible for riders on motorized bicycles to receive a DUI, but not for a pedal-powered ones. However, you’re not in the clear yet.
Just because a rider cannot receive a DUI for biking under the influence, does not mean that they’re in the clear. If you’re biking erratically, endangering pedestrians, other bikers, or drivers on the road, you can be cited for public intoxication. The consequences of this crime can be anywhere from a fine to actual jail time.
One of the most primal effects of alcohol on your system is your lack of coordination and motor skills. These are the physical acts you need to get around, such as tying your shoes, opening doors, or in this case, riding a bike.
Let’s take a look at different levels of BAC and their effect on your ability to ride a bike:
|BAC||~ # of Drinks||Effects|
|0.05||1 – 2||Relaxation, and a slightly decreased reaction time|
|0.05 – 0.10||3 – 4||Decrease in motor skills and reaction time; may become clumsy or exaggerated|
|0.10 – 0.15||5 – 7||Reduced vision and perception, irrationality, impaired judgment and reaction time|
|0.15 – 0.30||8 – 10||Slurred speech, argumentative, lack of sensory and motor skills, nausea and vomiting|
|Over 0.30||Over 10||Decreased respiration, unconsciousness, no sensory awareness|
As you can see, motor skills already start to decline at around 2 drinks or more. It gradually worsens as you consume more and more alcohol, infringing on your ability to ride a bicycle, let alone steer one.
This is why biking under the influence can still get you cited for public intoxication, especially if you’ve been swerving, acting erratically, or endangering other citizens in other ways.
While biking might seem like a smart choice to get to your destination in a greener, safer fashion, it’s hardly the smart choice to take yourself home after drinking. Instead, head home with a friend who is acting as the designated driver, and fit your bike in their trunk, if you can. Call an Uber, Lyft, or a taxi to safely take you home, so you won’t have to steer yourself. Trust a friend with your bike to pick up later.
If you have been arrested for a DUI, whether in a car or a motorized bicycle, contact us. Our team of experienced attorneys will protect your rights and look into your case to uncover all the details. We proudly represent clients from Tempe, AZ and beyond, and are available for free initial case consultations.