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Old 06-12-04, 10:45 AM   #1
Crazy Cyclist
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Drinking & cycling - what could happen ?

yesterday I was at a friends house and I had my bike with me, I drank about 6 beers and rode home, can the police legally stop me if I was impared?( I wasn't) if so what would happen? would I lose my DL? or would their only be merits taken away. I rode home at around 1 am.
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Old 06-12-04, 10:54 AM   #2
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In most areas the laws are the same as cars.

And on another note, not passing judgement because I do drink but anyone who has had 6 beers in one night is impaired. You might not think otherwise but you are.
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Old 06-12-04, 10:58 AM   #3
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you could die
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Old 06-12-04, 11:01 AM   #4
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you could die
LOL. So true...
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Old 06-12-04, 12:33 PM   #5
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Ya want respect in traffic, want to be treated like other vehicles, have full lane rights, you have to respect the law. Ride drunk, expect to get a DUI.

As far as impairment goes, here's a easy test for any type of impairment, be it beer, drugs, or just plain fatigue: Have someone hold a dollar bill out. Place your index finger and thumb about 1 inch apart, even with the bottom of the bill. Without warning, you partner drops the bill and you try to catch it between you thumb & finger. Note where you catch the bill. Drink a beer & repeat. You will see what impairment is.

Trust me.
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Old 06-12-04, 01:49 PM   #6
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ngateguy, I had those beers oin a span of 6 hours, so that is 1 beer per hour.
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Old 06-12-04, 02:49 PM   #7
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ngateguy, I had those beers oin a span of 6 hours, so that is 1 beer per hour.
All that means is I'm glad you live in the Peg so you won't be on any roads near me.
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Old 06-12-04, 02:51 PM   #8
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Maybe not a DWI but public intoxication it likely.
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Old 06-12-04, 03:14 PM   #9
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I wonder if they would arrest you, should you bike impaired. ? I am sure the insurance company would treat the DUI the same as driving.
Reason to always carry nylon shorts...Would not want to spend the night in the drunk tank in lycra. Get enough harrassment on the street. Yes, I fear cycling through wine country..We are real winos... Good wines...We could loose our heads..
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Old 06-12-04, 03:44 PM   #10
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Your real potential loss is your life if you ride after drinking. Riding skills require coordination and timing, the ability to monitor your bike and at the same time monitor the traffic around you. Riding after drinking significantly affects your ability to do these; even if you think you are fine, you are not. Judgement is also impared, and could cause you to do "stupid" things. There was a study of pedestrian deaths, and it noted that a significant portion of those who died were drunk.

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Old 06-12-04, 04:57 PM   #11
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One drink per hour is probably not going to impair your judgement substantially, and if you ride home on streets with light trafic, I'd think you'd be safe. But be careful. A friend in high school drank a lot more than that, then crashed into a curb, breaking his collar bone.
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Old 06-12-04, 05:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy Cyclist
yesterday I was at a friends house and I had my bike with me, I drank about 6 beers and rode home, can the police legally stop me if I was impared?( I wasn't) if so what would happen? would I lose my DL? or would their only be merits taken away. I rode home at around 1 am.
out here in T.O., it doesn't matter, you are still going to be charged
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Old 06-12-04, 05:48 PM   #13
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I just find I need to be as sharp as I can when I'm on two wheels. Like someone above said, you're not gonna blow over at a beer an hour, but you're not going to be at your best when negotiating holes, curbs and motorists who've had more than you.
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Old 06-12-04, 05:57 PM   #14
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I just find I need to be as sharp as I can when I'm on two wheels. Like someone above said, you're not gonna blow over at a beer an hour, but you're not going to be at your best when negotiating holes, curbs and motorists who've had more than you.
Here it is folks six beers in 7 hours I blew a .13 at the time just over our legal limit cost me a dui went to an alcohol class learned exactly how the stuff works you can drink a beer and in an hour the effect is more after 2hrs even more. the more you drink the more it effects you pacing yourself may not work. Of course since you are the one drinking so you are the last one that really can decide weather you are impaired or not.

Again I am only telling you this for education and to put an end to myths that involve drinking. I am not an alcoholic but I have been known to enjoy a good beer from time to time. I used to think I was a better driver after a couple than when I was sober. That all changed with that DUI 10 years ago. Just be careful thats all.
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Old 06-12-04, 06:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ngateguy
Here it is folks six beers in 7 hours I blew a .13 at the time just over our legal limit
Not gonna argue with you ngateguy, but somebody must have spiked your hops. Your blood alcohol with 5% beer in standard containers should have been 1/3 to 1/2 of what it was. (If you're around 160 lbs or so.)

Your point is well taken though! There's a time and a place for having a drink, and before we saddle up is not it.
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Old 06-12-04, 06:11 PM   #16
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...and I love Crazy Cyclists Avatar. Are we anticipating a sell off in Pittsgurgh?
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Old 06-13-04, 12:53 AM   #17
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I found this link in another thread:

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp.../bicycle_dui_1
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Old 06-13-04, 01:03 AM   #18
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I'll admit I've awoken to find my bike leaning on my bed, my SPD shoes still on and not know exactly how I got there.

My friend has me one better though, he woke up, in a ditch, 3.5hrs after he left to go home, still clipped into his pedals. SPD's + drunk = bad news.
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Old 06-13-04, 02:50 AM   #19
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Well here in FL, they have taken licenses away from chronic drunken drivers. Some of these continue their ways on bicycles. Apparantly, they seem to have a total tolerance rule for drunken cyclists. There was one guy who rode drunk home from a bar and had a series are really nasty accidents. Guess they figured that he would eventually get killed and remove himself from the gene pool.

It seems to me that when one cycles, one needs to pay attention and have their wits about them. Cycling impaired is a recipe for disaster.

As far as the law goes, in the USA cyclists are considered legal vehicles. You can potentially get charged for DUI with all the nasty consequences.

So what could happen? All sorts of very bad things.
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Old 06-13-04, 01:58 PM   #20
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From the LAPD: Cycling drunk is cause for a DUI citation, and you can go to jail for it. Your bike could be impounded, too. License loss is unlikely, but possible.
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Old 06-13-04, 06:35 PM   #21
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...and I love Crazy Cyclists Avatar. Are we anticipating a sell off in Pittsgurgh?
originalbart, I think a long lockout ( 1 year) is more likely.
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Old 06-13-04, 06:36 PM   #22
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Thanks for the replies everyone, I admit it was a dumb thing to do, I won't do it again.
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Old 06-13-04, 10:06 PM   #23
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Lets face it, one can more easily drive when they are totally snookered than bicycle. All the agility needed to plow a thousand pound car through the streets, is the tilting of the big toe towards the gas pedal. This creates a very deadly weapon( generally with no intention to maim or kill, but quite likely to do so). Get drunk enough, you can't even sit on a bike. You might kill someone that is trying to avoid hitting you, but you are far more likely to harm yourself first.

I'm not sugesting that I want a bunch of drunken cyclists out there, but I'd much rather face streets full of them, than car drivers who are bombed out of their brains. Unfortunately it's the latter that I see gunning down the sidestreets in vast numbers every weekend night, when I ride home from work after midnight.
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Old 06-14-04, 04:09 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ngateguy
Here it is folks six beers in 7 hours I blew a .13 at the time just over our legal limit cost me a dui went to an alcohol class learned exactly how the stuff works you can drink a beer and in an hour the effect is more after 2hrs even more.
I am not familiar with US breath analyzer metering, so I'm going to assume you mean 0,13%? You could blow that after six beers, but if you consumed them evenly in 7 hours, it must have been some mean Trappist stuff made in Belgium, very high on alcohol content.

And the effect of one beer after 2 hrs... what exactly do you mean by "effect"? In terms of breath analyzer test, there should not be much of an effect to measure. On average, over a 2 hour time period, a 80kg male's liver will burn the amount of alcohol contained in a small bottle (0,33l) of beer (max 5% alc. vol.) At least that's what we're taught over here.

But I do agree: RUI (riding under influence) is not the smartest thing to do.

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Old 06-14-04, 09:46 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy Cyclist
yesterday I was at a friends house and I had my bike with me, I drank about 6 beers and rode home, can the police legally stop me if I was impared?( I wasn't) if so what would happen? would I lose my DL? or would their only be merits taken away. I rode home at around 1 am.

As others have said, it's not a good idea to drink and ride. If you *have* to get yourself around somehow, it's better to cycle than to drive, but better still not to ride if you've had a significant amount to drink.

That said, your question is interesting, but I don't know the answer. I don't know what the law is up in your province of the Frozen North. In the States, the law varies. In some states, riding under the influence is a violation of the same laws that motor vehicle drivers violate. In other states, not. Where it's not, you may be committing the crimes of public intoxication, or reckless driving, or some such, or you may violate some special statute regarding operating non-motor vehicles while drunk.

Even where it is a DUI, on a par with driving drunk, you are more likely not to be arrested and charged if you're drunk on a bike. Arrests like these certainly do happen, though, and they're happening with increasing frequency these days. If you live in a college town, or near one, watch out. The cops are well aware of all the drunk students riding around, and a lot of them love to make busts of that kind. On the other hand, if you're a solid citizen in a small town, and you're pedaling and not driving, you may well just get sent home.

The penalties for DUI are so serious, though, it's almost always not worth taking a chance. A friend of mine paid over *ten thousand* dollars in additional insurance premiums after his DUI, not to mention the problems with his record, the stiff fine, the long hours of community service, the restrictions on his driving for months, all the rest. Yikes. In addition, some cops in hard ass jurisdictions will arrest anyone who admits to any drinking at all, even if there are no other signs of intoxication. (The idea is to intimdate drivers out of drinking, rather than to get convictions.) For these reasons, I try not not to drink *at all* before I drive. Cops bug me enough anyway when I have "contact" with them; if I'm going to deal with a cop at a traffic stop, I want to have both legs to stand on.

DUI trials are now the most common trials in the U.S. It's a large specialty among lawyers, and the trials are getting more complicated and elaborate. Many people who are charged are people of some means, and the penalties are so great that it's worth it to fight the charge. It is quite possible to fight a DUI charge successfully. The stop, the test, and other matters can be challenged in most courts, and many specialist attorneys have respectable records of acquittal or success in getting the charge reduced (to reckless driving or something similar). You really need an experienced lawyer to go this route, but some people do this.

Many people, too, are choosing to refuse to take the tests, and are just facing the administrative suspension that follows from the refusal. It's still possible for these people to be tried for DUI, of course, but it's hard to get a conviction without some chemical evidence or some egregious behavior captured on camera. An administrative suspension carries with it some stiff penalties. In most states, you can lose your license for a *year* for refusing the test, whereas you usually lose your license for 90 days or so with a first DUI conviction (though you get suspended longer, usually, since an administrative suspension is usually tacked on to the criminal penalty). But the fines, the mandatory jail time, the permanent conviction on your record, and the huge increases in insurance premiums all loom after a DUI conviction. So, many people think it's better just to eat the year's suspension than face all that. They might be right, too.

Here's a good start on some more information in the U.S.:

http://www.drunkdrivingdefense.com/
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