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  1. #1
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    Riding a bike drunk

    A while back I knew I would be drinking a bit, so I rode my bike to a party, intending to take the train home and ride a little over a mile home from the train station. I had 7 drinks and waited an hour after the last one till the party ended. Then I got on my bike and rode it to the train station, intending to take the train home. I saw that I had just missed the train and the next one wouldn't be for over an hour. So I decided to ride all the way home, 18 miles (I had my lights on my bike, so I could ride it at night, plus I've ridden that route many times when sober and I know every little change of elevation on that route). Surprisingly I didn't lose my balance and I could ride in a straight line, even though I was definitely over the legal limit for driving. I couldn't fall asleep while riding and the chilly air kept me awake, whereas if I were driving I would fall asleep behind the wheel and crash. I felt like I was going faster than I usually do, since I got home in less than an hour, and my cadence was much faster. There was almost no one on the road and I got every green light, there was no wind and it was chilly. I've never been able to replicate that time again, even with a tailwind. It's unlikely that I'll repeat this "experiment" again. If I got pulled over, could I have gotten a DUI on a bicycle? But I'm sure a cop wouldn't think a guy riding 20 mph on a bike would be drunk because they wouldn't think it's possible. I wonder why I could ride my bike faster when drunk.

  2. #2
    Kitten Legion Master
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    Yes, you can get a DUI.
    Don't do it again, I have met people who really ****ed themselves up riding a bicycle drunk.

  3. #3
    Cycling Enthusiast mi77915's Avatar
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    ben4345 is correct!!!! YES, you can get a DUI while riding a bike!!!!
    2007 - Giant OCR-2
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  4. #4
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    We have a weekly pub crawl ride on Sunday nights. On Memorial Day weekend, several people had Monday off so they had more than they normally do, and yes, one of the riders had too much. She left the group and fell off her bike and got banged up a bit. It could have been much worse. We were trying to get her to go home but she wanted to go to a party we knew of. We couldn't get her home, so we (three riders who were sober) escorted her to the party and talked to people there to make sure she had nothing else to drink and that someone could drive her home (which they did). She survived to ride another day, but it was troubling to deal with.

    Having a few drinks is fun, but don't get a DUI and don't be a burden to your friends.

    And for the record, yeah, I've been that guy once or twice too. I now try to limit my pub crawls to no more than two alcoholic drinks (over a few hours).
    Last edited by Doohickie; 06-06-12 at 10:18 AM.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  5. #5
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    I used to ride to the bar, get drunk, and use the bike as a rolling support as I walked home.

    Sure glad I gave up drinking.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkippyX View Post
    I used to ride to the bar, get drunk, and use the bike as a rolling support as I walked home.

    Sure glad I gave up drinking.
    Outgrew it when I was about 19 myself. And yes, you can get a ticket.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Hendricks97's Avatar
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    just saw my first drunk rider last night. It was very entertaining and the bag of more beer hanging from the grip of his handlebars didnt help his already way off balance. Im sure he thought he was fine too

  8. #8
    Senior Member Flying Merkel's Avatar
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    Bicycle bar-hopping is the sport of kings. Two beers, short ride to the next stop. Repeat until full. Exercise burns off the alcohol. Yes, I've crashed a few times. Nothing serious. My buddy once got to the point were he blacked out & could only ride in a series of straight lines. We ended up on the beach at midnight where he crashed into the surf and got tangled up in kelp. I laughed so hard my legs collapsed under me. We mostly have outgrown this kind of stuff. No apologies to anyone for barcycling.

    At the drinking establishments on the beaches, bicycle parking is full to overflowing. Cruisers & cheap mountain bikes predominate.
    Pronounced "Murkle"

  9. #9
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    You probably didn't ride as strait of a line as you think you did.

  10. #10
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sternzeit View Post
    You probably didn't ride as straight of a line as you think you did.
    It could depend on the bicycle. I used to have a dutch Pegasus 10 speed with seriously relaxed geometry and a very pronounced rake of the fork. It was a perfect drunk's bike because it was hard to make it weave or wobble, and with the relaxed geometry, wheelies were not possible.

    Still, last time I rode a bike with so much as a single beer in me, I got dropped by a retired grandma, literally.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

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    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  11. #11
    Warning:Annoying to jerks RaleighSport's Avatar
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    Friend of mine got a DUI on his bike some years back, and I'm grateful he did from the sounds of it he may not have made it home that night or any other if they hadn't. He's still quite bitter about the DUI.
    “Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”


    ― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emerson in His Journals

  12. #12
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    The roads are quite empty at closing time.

    Here, the shoulders are wide .
    but the MUP is also the trolley trestle.

    It's planked in on both sides of the rails..
    only dropped a wheel in the gap once..

    Don't crash in front of the Constable.

    A friend did, and they had to give him 'the tests'.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 06-06-12 at 12:07 PM.

  13. #13
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    It's a very rare occurrence to get stopped by the cops for drunk riding, but as others have said, it can happen. Personally, I don't worry about that at all. I do worry, a bit, about getting into a crash, although I rarely get so sauced that guiding the bike is a problem. Last time I was in the tank, I did have the sense to just walk home with the bike, so I guess aging does confer some wisdom. Sometimes.

    As a funny anecdote, years ago I rode out to a festival on the edge of town and spent the afternoon partying. Got pretty smashed. Dusk fell, and my friend and I left on bikes, deciding to take precautions by staying off the main roads. It was our town and we knew it well, but we were so hammered that we got lost riding through the neighborhoods and wound up making a 15min ride a ridiculous, 45min ordeal!
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  14. #14
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    I'm glad to hear you got home safely. It's ironic that you can lose your license due to drunk driving, but you can continue to ride your bike drunk and accumulate even more DUIs so that you never get your license back! Well, if you don't weave in front of a car and kill yourself first...

  15. #15
    Warning:Annoying to jerks RaleighSport's Avatar
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    Actually I just recalled a very dumb incident... I had been out drinking with some friends and was going to stay the night there... then some things happened that made me feel very uncomfortable sleeping there.. even drunk. I ended up riding across town, drunk, in the dark with no lights, I was surprised how well I was able to do it, but I would never do it again.
    “Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”


    ― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emerson in His Journals

  16. #16
    Senior Member Nachoman's Avatar
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    I've done it a lot. But not since college. Good times.
    .
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    Two wheels good. Four wheels bad.

  17. #17
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    Cycling is pretty automatic for me, so I can usually still ride when I am no longer cognisant. I have only once been too drunk to stay on a bike. I don't remember a whole lot, but I think I must have gotten home in 100 ft increments, because my sheets were bloody from the scrapes on my palms and forearms.

  18. #18
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Not all areas give DUI for bicycles, depends on the laws. Some places you get a public intoxication charge. If I have had to much to drink, I can walk the bike home and use it to stay upright

    And whoever it was that says exercise burns off the alcohol? Better check up on your biology. Human bodies only metabolize about an ounce an hour of alcohol, regardless. Some people tolerate it better than others, and can function at a higher level of intoxication, but are still legally intoxicated.

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  19. #19
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    The legal situation varies by location in the US and other countries, so you should check your local ordinances. E.g. California's vehicle code has a specific section on bicycling while under the influence, so in this state you wouldn't be charged with a DUI while bicycling, but you can be charged with BUI, which has less severe penalties. But in some other states you could be charged with a regular DUI.

    A separate section with reduced penalties strikes me as reasonable since a bicyclist under the influence is much less likely to cause injury to others than if he chose to drive a motor vehicle instead.

  20. #20
    Senior Member longbeachgary's Avatar
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    I'm just amazed at how casually you guys excuse idiotic behavior. If you drink and then ride, you are an xxxxx because only an xxxxx would believe that no one else but the rider could be injured or killed by a drunk cyclist. If you're that desperate to hide from your own life then call a cab. It's not rocket science.

  21. #21
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    In Ontario, Canada, riding a bicycle on the road is considered operating a vehicle, and so a DUI is possible. I have never personally gotten on or known anyone who has, though. But I am not a memebr of the XXXtreme Blackout Drinker Club.

    I actually tend to stay away from booze and rely on the devil's herb to get intoxicated. The only problem when riding on weed is going too slow and/or getting lost. And paranoia.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Gallo's Avatar
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    I think the green lights were the main cause of the fast pace. Momentum is a wonderful thing. Try the ride at the same time sober and your time might be faster.

    I too am guilty of having a few too many and riding in the past. I am in no position to preach.

    The real issue is not if you can hold a straight line, I am pretty certain I could as well after seven drinks in a night of jubilation. The problem is reaction time when something goes awry. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence of reduced reaction time while intoxicated. When bad things happen fast reaction time is critical.

    By the way... Thank you for not driving

  23. #23
    Senior Member Flying Merkel's Avatar
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    There's a bridge over the Santa Ana river we would pee off of on the way home. Learned a lot about the prevailing winds that way........

    Had a pack of coyotes follow me & a buddy through the park at about 3:00 AM. They paced us from about 20 feet back. Good times- no regrets.

    I apologize for my shortcomings. In folly there is wisdom. If we were all as logical as astronauts, the world would be a boring place.
    Pronounced "Murkle"

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by nd2010 View Post
    I felt like I was going faster than I usually do, since I got home in less than an hour, and my cadence was much faster.
    The alcohol is an extra source of energy. It is a different system to metabolize it, so it might even be in addition to the glucose energy for awhile.

    I've been through a couple of check stops set up for DUI drivers on late Saturday nights. Fortunately it was because I was just getting off work, and hadn't been to a bar. The first one they asked me a couple of questions. The second time I was waved through.
    mainlytext.com/bike.html Bicycling in winter, the entertainment version

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Closed Office View Post
    I've been through a couple of check stops set up for DUI drivers on late Saturday nights.
    Ah yes, when the RCMP does the ride program...

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