Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 43
  1. #1
    Senior Member trmcgeehan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Somerset, KY -- near Lake Cumberland
    My Bikes
    1980 Univega; 1985 Ross; 1994 Trek 1400 -- all road bikes
    Posts
    757
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Can you get a DUI riding a bike?!

    Last month, I had a bad experience with a DUI road trap. I went to a party, and had a little too much "alkyhol." As I was about to leave the party, I heard several people say: "When you get to the end of the driveway, go right and drive over the mountain to get home. There's a DUI road block to the left." I didn't think anything of it, because I thought I was okay. So, like a dummy, I turned left and drove right into the trap a mile down the road. Bad move. The state trooper put his head in my window and asked if I had been drinking. Not to lie (he could smell the beer on my breath), I said yes. He told me to pull over and get out of the car. I went through the eye movement test, foot in front of foot straight line, etc., and did rather badly. They put my in a police car and took me to jail, while my poor wife had to call someone to come get her and the car (she had been drinking too, but only had a couple).
    At the jail, the arresting officer sat with me in a big room, and filled out paperwork, for what seemed like 45 minutes. Then he gave me the breath test. While sitting there, I thought: "Hey, this cop is a good guy. He's giving me some time to sober up before he gives me the test!" Wrong! I learned later that your blood alcohol level continues to climb for at least 1.5 hours after the last drink! He was trying to get my alcohol level UP! By the grace of God, I came in at .072, which is under Kentucky's maximum of .080. But they still, for a reason I don't know, charged me with reckless driving or open container in the car (I had a choice). I wasn't driving recklessly, and didn't have an open container in the car. They were going to hold me for a minimum of 4 hours before I had to post bond. But luckily for me, a local judge had also gone to the party, and was following me when I got pulled over. He called the jail and sprung me right away, without posting a bond.
    So I had to get a lawyer, who got the case dismissed. It only cost me $500 for the lawyer, plus $100 court costs. I had a great time at the party, but certainly not $600 worth!
    The irony of it is, I was all set to ride my bike to the party, which was about 6 miles from my home. But then at the last minute, my wife decided to go with me, so I took my car. The question is, if I had ridden into the trap on a bike, would I have been charged just as if I was driving a car? Might have saved me $600! This whole sordid episode scared me spitless! I've learned my lesson. Don't drink and drive, bub!
    Last edited by trmcgeehan; 12-13-02 at 12:42 AM.
    "I am a true laborer. I earn that I eat, get that I wear, owe no man hate, envy no man's happiness, glad of other men's good, content with my harm." As You Like It, Act 3, Scene 2. Shakespeare.
    "Deep down, I'm pretty superficial." Ava Gardner.

  2. #2
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Whistler,BC
    My Bikes
    Transition Dirtbag, Kona Roast 2002 and specialized BMX
    Posts
    16,889
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    In canada it is against the law...you would be eligible for fines, jail time,revoking of licsence and points off of permit. You are on a vehical and drunk. If you aren't a danger to others you are definately a danger to yourself. (as for provincial specifics they change but the basics I believe are the same)

  3. #3
    aka old dog greywolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    tauranga New Zealand
    Posts
    1,173
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    dont carry your drivers licence with you if you drink & ride. may-be ride on the side-walk, different set of laws ???
    :D
    dont worry be happy ????

  4. #4
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia - passionfruit capital of the universe!
    Posts
    9,622
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Law or not, I can certainly say that I wouldn't want any part of riding under the influence of alcohol or anything else. I think that is one fast way to become an example of Darwin's theories of natural selection.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
    My blog.
    My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.

  5. #5
    cycle-powered nathank's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Munich Germany (formerly Portland OR, Texas)
    My Bikes
    '02 Specialized FSR, '03 RM Slayer, '99 Raleigh R700, '97 Norco hartail, '89 Stumpjumper
    Posts
    1,848
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    well, it varies from state to state. in most states since a bicycle is considered a vehicle, and the DUI laws are written for vehicles it does techically apply. then some of the laws are "operating a MOTOR vehicle". so technically, yes, often you can be charged for DUI/DWUI just like driving.

    i know this was the case in Texas unless they changed it b/c in college i used to ride to parties and home while definitely above the legal limit to drive a car - i had one time where i met the pavement maybe 5 times on a 1-2 mile ride home - but i wasn't endangering anyone but myself, so i just didn't take it the same as driving a car (i've driven once over the limit when i was 17 and never since)

    anyway, some of us looked up the laws and TECHNICAL in Texas you can get your driver's license suspended. of course, another technicality is that you don't NEED a driver's license to ride a bike...

    but, in reality it is unlikely i think, b/c biking while drunk just does not endanger others like the DUI laws are designed to prevent, so you'd have to have a really strict judge and a crappy attourney to get the REAL DUI punishment while on a bike. i.e. the $1000 and/or license probation that most states now have.

    now if you have a prior conviction, it might be treated a little more severly (i.e. as evidence that you haven't learned your lesson and would drive a motor vehicle drunk again too)

    some time ago i read some commentary on the subject and some judge basically said "hey, every drunk guy on a bicycle is one less behind the wheel, and they can endanger themselves all they want as long as they don't get behind the wheeel" --- i actually think it was in England where BUI is more common -- but i think the attitude is right on.
    why drive when you can ride?
    now a fully certified German MTB Guide! (DAV)

  6. #6
    serial mender
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Bonn, Germany
    Posts
    416
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A friend of mine has been driving for over 40 years. He has had only one accident. He was hit by a drunk bicyclist. If I recall correctly the bicyclist was charged with drunk driving, but it didn't mean much, since this was before a DUI received much more than a slap on the wrist.

    Cheers,
    Jamie

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    1,078
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    About a month ago I was riding home on a busy road in the evening when I encounterted traffic backed up endlessly at what turned out to be a checkpoint.I hoped on the sidewalk rode by and enjoyed the road virtually to myself the next mile or so.The cops around here(So.Fl.) only seem to bother cyclists when they ride at night without proper lighting particularly if they are riding in the street and then only warn the cyclist to get lighting.While I highly recommend not riding drunk for your own safety(and motorists as well) if you do be sure to have proper lighting and follow other rules to avoid being stopped where they might notice you drunk and find something to charge you with.Riding on the sidewalk may be smart also as one mistake on the road could be it(plus cops pay less attention to cyclists on sidewalks) but watch intersections and cars pulling out from stripmalls etc.I defer to the previous posts on the actual legality as I don't drink.

  8. #8
    Censorship Stinks! pcsanity1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Texas
    My Bikes
    Three
    Posts
    389
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I know that when I participated in the "Moonlight Ramble" (Part party, part bike ride - 2am through downtown) here in Houston, they warned us that open container and DUI laws apply.

    That being said we still saw people with bottles of wine in their bottle cage. From what I saw there was not a person that was harassed by the police at the intersections. (Maybe because the police were paid to be there?)

    Matt

  9. #9
    cycle-powered nathank's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Munich Germany (formerly Portland OR, Texas)
    My Bikes
    '02 Specialized FSR, '03 RM Slayer, '99 Raleigh R700, '97 Norco hartail, '89 Stumpjumper
    Posts
    1,848
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    here in Houston, they warned us that open container and DUI laws apply
    isn't it still called DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) in Texas?

    so sounds like they haven't changed it and you can still technically be brought up under full DWI/DUI charges in Texas when on a bicycle... never heard of anyone who has and the cops never looked at me on my bike - well, the UT campus police used to try and ticket me for not putting my foot down at stop signs... but nothing to do with DWI. i supposed they could use it as a "reason" to mess with you if you are some "undesireable" type with spiked or blue hair or the "wrong" skin color...
    why drive when you can ride?
    now a fully certified German MTB Guide! (DAV)

  10. #10
    bac
    bac is offline
    Senior Member bac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    My Bikes
    Too many to list!
    Posts
    7,488
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Originally posted by Maelstrom
    In canada it is against the law...you would be eligible for fines, jail time,revoking of licsence and points off of permit. You are on a vehical and drunk. If you aren't a danger to others you are definately a danger to yourself. (as for provincial specifics they change but the basics I believe are the same)
    Well, in the United States, both our President and Vice President (twice for Mr. Cheney) have been arrested for DUI, but they were driving automobiles. So don't believe those who say that if you drink and drive, you'll not amount to anything!!

    Sorry, way OT, but I couldn't resist.

  11. #11
    pnj
    pnj is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    seattle
    Posts
    1,083
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    you can drink and ride in seattle.

    this was in the courts about 11 years ago.

    we had a discussion a few months back about it, search and you may be able to find it....
    4130

  12. #12
    Burn-em Upus Icephaltus Gojohnnygo.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    2,353
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Please don't drink and ride and don't drink and drive.
    Sick BubbleGum

  13. #13
    Breaker of Spokes P. B. Walker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    N. Virginia
    Posts
    493
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Even if they do not bust you for DUI... I would think they could DEFINITELY bust you for Drunk In Public. Most states have a DIP law. Most of the time it's just a fine that you can pre-pay if you are willing to just plead no-contest. Course I'm sure there are variations per state.

    PBW


    Edited to add: Which also means... you will be spending the night in the drunk tank...

  14. #14
    riding a Pinarello Prince orguasch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Downtown Toronto,Canada
    My Bikes
    Pinarello, Prince and an FP5
    Posts
    2,400
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    One time last summer, I was riding my bike out in Port Hope, Ontario, I must have been thinking of a Ice cold beer, when I entered a Burger joint can remember the exact Name of the Restaurant, but as soon as I seat down I ordered one Blue, and right away gulp it and at the corner of my eye I can see two Police officer having their snack and one officer approached me and said your not having a second, do you, I said I was just so thirsty and the first that Came out of my mind was an Ice Cold Beer, and the Officer said if you having a second bottle of Beer, He will give me a ticket for D.U.I., what the heck why will I argue with the Officer, I just said no I will not have a second beer, because I will be ordering my lunch Now. being reasonable to this officer won't get you in trouble.
    "Racso", the well oiled machine;)

  15. #15
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Fallbrook,Calif./Palau del Vidre, France
    My Bikes
    Klein QP, Fuji touring, Surly Cross Check, BCH City bike
    Posts
    13,144
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    I have known of cyclists to go on a tour of Napa wine district and they report local police are on to organized bike tours of wine districts.. Yes, they did report Police like to busy cyclists for DUI..
    I find it puzzling that a cyclist, who does not have to have a license to ride a bike, can be subjected to Exactly the Same laws.. What if you are a cyclists without a driver's license. Can't take license away from you are least.? Not to say I think it wise to cycle and be drunk at the same time..
    In fact, I recall a clerk at a supermarket telling me her daughter was busted some traffic infraction while riding a bike.. She said the daughter had to go to 'bike school.'

  16. #16
    I am a lonely visitor RegularGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Where even Richard Nixon has got soul
    My Bikes
    Michelle Pfieffer, the Carbon Fiber Wonder Bike: A Kestrel 200 SCI Repainted in glorious mango; Old Paintless, A Litespeed Obed; The Bike With No Name: A Bianchi Eros; RegularBike: A Parkpre Comp Ltd rebuilt as a singlespeed.
    Posts
    2,630
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I know of a case where a fellow got ticketed for operating a motorized wheelchair while intoxicated.
    Religion is a good thing for good people and a bad thing for bad people. --H. Richard Niebuhr

  17. #17
    1.64x10^6 posts Grendel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Spring, TX
    Posts
    501
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    One scenario I can think of where you would be charged with 'BWI' would be if you swerved into traffic and caused an accident between one or more vehicles as they swerve to avoid hitting you. Laws vary, so you never know. In places where the law treats cyclists just like other vehicle traffic I suppose it's a technical possibility -- I doubt the punishment would be the same, though.

  18. #18
    JDP
    JDP is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    211
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I know that you can refuse a breathalizer test. They can suspend your license for this but so what. More time on the bike. They may be able to still convict you if you are obviously drunk but as long as you have your wits about you it should work. I wonder what this would do to your insurance premiums, though.

  19. #19
    Guest
    Guest
    Here's why driving under the influence is "stupid". Some months back a doctor friend decided that after many years of hard work, he deserved a special gift on his 50 birthday... He bought himself a new Porsche 911 Turbo convertible.

    He drove it to work the first day... later that day, he put the top down and was looking forward to his 30 mile drive home on Ortega Hwy...(it's a great S shaped country 2lane road for a long drive). Half way home some idiot driving a pickup, that had a few to many cross the middle line and hit my friend head on.... flipping his auto...totaled it... he lived but was in a coma for weeks. Thank God, he woke up but didn't remember anyone.

    Months later, he's back to work, PT, has some serious brain damage, and serious memory loss... he'll never be the same

    Why is it so hard to demonstrate some common-sense????

    You're lucky, it only cost $600 and some embarrassment. You're life along with your wife's could have been ruined in so many ways!

  20. #20
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    St. Petersburg, FL
    My Bikes
    2003 Specialized Rockhopper FSR Comp, 1999 Specialized Hardrock Comp FS, 1971 Schwinn Varsity
    Posts
    15,082
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Something else that we agree on. Maybe you're not such a bad guy after all!

  21. #21
    Don't Believe the Hype RiPHRaPH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    chicagoland area
    My Bikes
    1999 Steelman SR525, 2002 Lightspeed Ultimate, 1988 Trek 830, 2008 Scott Addict
    Posts
    2,584
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    you can get a public intoxication charge. you can get one from just walking (swerving) down the sidewalk.

    drunk drivers who kill with their cars are no different than those who kill with guns or their fists, etc. intent aside, not one person who is sober (and everyone is sober...even drunks) would say that drinking then driving is cool.

    we have a terrible problem with people from other cultures who come here to america and drink and drive and don't understand its devestating effects. the police blotter is full of these ethnic people driving drunk.

    but...once again.... the alcohol lobby is a strong one.

    and lawyers and judges alike drink. and drive. not neccessarily together...but....

    i've learned that lawyers and lawmakers like making laws that protect or harm only when it rarely or never effects them personally.
    I have enough words to get me into trouble, but not enough to get me out of trouble.

  22. #22
    Victoria's secret MsVicki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    east Texas
    Posts
    1,255
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Originally posted by RegularGuy
    I know of a case where a fellow got ticketed for operating a motorized wheelchair while intoxicated.
    Me, too. There was a whole bunch of handicapped people who were written up for DUI here because they were drunk and having wheelchair races down a steep hill at 3:00 in the morning once.

  23. #23
    SLJ 6/8/65-5/2/07 Walter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    SE Florida, USA aka the Treasure Coast
    Posts
    5,248
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I remember reading of a guy who got busted DUI in the Miami area. This was maybe 20 years ago. As I recall the guy knew he was intoxicated and left his car behind and borrowed a bike. So much for trying to be at least somewhat responsible.

    I don't know if the charges were actually brought forward or not as it was just a blurb in the paper and not followed up. I'd like to think the charge was changed to something like public intox. or even drunk and disorderly. Neither have the (very justifiable) longterm financial repercussions and this guy did choose not to get behind the wheel

    When younger I did any # of really dumb things, most of them involving or b/c of alcohol. I'm older and perhaps wiser and I'm very particular about staying away from cars after imbibing but I can't see that treated the same as riding a bike after a few too many.



    “Life is not one damned thing after another. Life is one damned thing over and over.”
    Edna St. Vincent Millay

  24. #24
    Senior Member trmcgeehan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Somerset, KY -- near Lake Cumberland
    My Bikes
    1980 Univega; 1985 Ross; 1994 Trek 1400 -- all road bikes
    Posts
    757
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Follow-up on my original DUI post: I didn't realize, before I narrowly avoided getting a DUI, how devestating the true consequences are: Revoked license for up to 90 days, jail time if it's not your first DUI, the cost of a lawyer (I paid $500), court costs (I paid $100), insanely large insurance premium increase for 3-5 years (I've heard up to 200% increase), points on your license, a monetary fine (usually $500 or more), name in the newspaper bringing shame on you and your family, mandatory driving school, and prospective employers doing a background check probably won't hire you. In some companies, it can also mean the loss of your job. There was one guy in our town who got a second DUI, and the judge sentenced him to two weeks in jail, plus a $1,000 fine. So he took his annual two weeks vacation in jail. Upon returning to his job, he was summarily fired. Six months later, he is still looking for another job, and no one will even give him an interview.
    "I am a true laborer. I earn that I eat, get that I wear, owe no man hate, envy no man's happiness, glad of other men's good, content with my harm." As You Like It, Act 3, Scene 2. Shakespeare.
    "Deep down, I'm pretty superficial." Ava Gardner.

  25. #25
    N_C
    N_C is offline
    Banned. N_C's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Bannation, forever.
    Posts
    2,887
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    first of all let me say that i have absolute ZERO TOLERANCE for anyone who drinks and drives. If I see someone drinking and driving, and I have, I call the police on my cell phone, again I have done this more then once.

    You drink, fine that's your business, but the moment you get behind the wheel of a car then it becomes everyones business, regardless of how much or how little you had to drink. anyone who gets busted for drinking and driving gets what they deserve. and IMO they should never be allowed to drive a car again or even own one for that matter. if you wonder why i feel this way, well i'll just say i've been affected by a drunk driver before, more then once.

    now as far as your question is concerned. i don't know if you can get charge with DUI or OWI or what ever it is called in your area. i think at the very least you can be charged with is public intoxication though. the thing about drinking and riding bike is if you have a accident at least you won't kill someone else in the process, just yourself if it involves a car. but i still would not recommend it.

    bottom line is if you are going to drink do not drive, period. get a designated driver. and I don't buy excuses that you can't, bullcrap, yes you can.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •