DUI not just for vehicles anymore
You might think you’ll be fine as long as you don’t get behind the wheel after drinking, but in certain states you could be charged with DUI even if you’re riding a bicycle. That’s because in places like Florida, a bicycle, e-bike, or even a motorized scooter are considered to be vehicles and you can be charged with driving under the influence if you are driving or riding while intoxicated on any of them.
In order for a bicycle rider to be charged with DUI in Florida, you must be riding with a blood alcohol of .08 or higher as indicated by a breath or blood test. You can also be charged if you were riding under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and your faculties were impaired to the point where it’s apparent to a police officer, could be proven by a urine test, you admitted you were intoxicated, or there were drugs or alcohol seized from your person.
Just like if you were driving in a car, truck, or van, riding a bicycle while under the influence can result in jail time. A Florida man was recently arrested on suspicion of DUI when he rode his bicycle through an intersection and hit a vehicle proceeding normally on a green light. He failed two field sobriety tests and refused the Breathalyzer test which resulted in being booked into Palm County Beach jail. The charges were DUI causing property damage and hit and run.
It’s no surprise that Florida has DUI laws including those who ride bicycles. In 2011, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recorded data from Florida that showed one-fourth of cyclists killed in bicycle rider fatalities had a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher. Whether it’s due to the mild climate or high percentage of cyclists in the state, Florida currently leads the nation in bicycle rider fatalities.