Most people understand from a young age that it is both dangerous and illegal to drink and drive an automobile. Not only does drinking and driving pose significant dangers to individuals who drink and drive, it also results in criminal charges quite regularly. What many people do not understand is that DUI charges are not necessarily restricted to automobiles. In some cases, an individual can receive criminal charges for riding a bicycle if they are impaired.
Different states deal with their drinking laws in a variety of ways, so a person living in a state that does not consider cycling while drunk a crime will probably not receive a DUI ticket for this behavior. However, it is still possible that an officer may cite such a person for public drunkenness.
Here in Georgia, DUI laws do extend to bicycles and other forms of alternative transportation. If you choose to ride a bicycle while intoxicated, you can receive DUI charges. It is important to note that these charges are usually not as severe as those handed to individuals who drink and drive automotive vehicles. Still, you do face threats to your ongoing freedom to drive or ride a bicycle, and a conviction may still impact your car insurance rates.
If you do face DUI charges from a bicycle ride that took a turn for the worse, be sure to speak with an attorney as soon as you can. Do not be fooled into thinking that these charges are not serious — they should be treated with the same gravity you would give a traditional DUI. An experienced attorney can help you understand your circumstances and determine a strategy you can use to fight the charges and protect your rights.
Source: Findlaw, “Drunk Biking,” accessed Sep. 28, 2017