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Old 12-15-10, 06:11 AM   #1
Daddo
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Do YOU drink and then try to ride?

Two bicycle riders charged with DUI on same day

Well, of course this is in Florida.

We are all too familiar with the havoc inflicted (on us and others) by drunk drivers behind the wheel of a car. But what I never considered is drunk or stoned riders on bikes.

Our first guy was on his bicycle, riding home from the Pickled Parrot bar (NICE). The second guy, who is facing his SECOND charge of riding his bicycle while drunk in the past 10 years, was riding his bike in the middle of a westbound lane at night with no lights or reflective equipment.

I don't know, this is apparently more common then I imagined. Are they a danger to society? Or are they simply being responsible by not driving a car while drunk. In any case, I never like to see negative news reports about humans on bicycles.

Here is the link to the story: http://www.tampabay.com/news/publics...me-day/1033308
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Old 12-15-10, 06:15 AM   #2
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I'm sure these guys aren't "cyclists," but "guys riding bikes." In fact, my guess is they don't have driver's licenses because of previous drunk driving convictions. They probably don't know the difference between Spandex and Kleenex.
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Old 12-15-10, 06:42 AM   #3
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Are they a danger? Potentially very much so.

A cyclist can still hit and injure a pedestrian or another cyclist. If they are cycling erratically on the roads they may cause a driver to swerve or take other extreme action to avoid them and cause an accident (especially if they have no lights and can't be seen until the last minute).
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Old 12-15-10, 06:49 AM   #4
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Hey Monk:

I agree with you that they most likely do not fit our perceived image of exactly "who" a cyclist is, but to the general public, they are guys on bicycles. In the most basic of terms, someone who rides a bicycle is perceived to be "a cyclist" by the general public (The concept of who is a cyclist is another topic altogether and would no doubt cause a lot of comment)

They may or may not have a car, but this is really not related to the idea of being too drunk (or stoned) to ride. I was curious if this is more wide spread then I thought.

Oh yes. You mentioned that they most likely didn't know the difference between Spandex and Kleenex. I would bet that mot drunks don't know the difference between Kleenex and the sleeve of their shirt.

Last edited by Daddo; 12-15-10 at 06:53 AM. Reason: missed a point.
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Old 12-15-10, 08:31 AM   #5
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Interesting topic...

To answer the question I have on ocassions had a beer while on a ride but, I have enough self control to know and not exceed my limit. It is always with food and never more than one.

My guess is that more people ride bikes while they are drunk or stoned than we think simply because we don't think about it until we read it in the paper or see it on TV. At least I never give it any thought.
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Old 12-15-10, 09:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monk View Post
I'm sure these guys aren't "cyclists," but "guys riding bikes." In fact, my guess is they don't have driver's licenses because of previous drunk driving convictions. They probably don't know the difference between Spandex and Kleenex.
Sadly this is an assumption a lot of people make about any cyclist who actually uses their bike to get around. They see someone biking in their regular clothes and assume that for some reason or another they can't drive, because, seriously, who would choose to ride a bike? I don't have many occasions to visit the liquor store, but I have no doubt that when I roll up there on my bike, some people assume I have a problem.

Drunk and in the street is a bad combination. I take issue with it being a DUI, which it is in my state and apparently in Florida as well, but there are public intoxication laws that can be enforced, and I wish they relied on those rather than DUI laws. Anyone on the streets and intoxicated can be a danger. On a bike or on foot they are more likely to be a danger to themselves then to others, but they can be a danger to others as well. A car, on the other hand, is far more likely to be a danger to others and far more likely to cause a fatality. I can imagine a situation where a drunk cyclist could cause a serious accident, but I'm not actually aware of any real situation, whereas drunk driving accidents with car drivers are all too common. As someone who is frequently out in traffic on my bike, I never worry that I'm going to get into an accident with a drunk cyclist, but at certain times and in certain areas I do worry about drunk drivers. Fact is that if I do collide with drunk cyclist, the damage is likely to amount to some bruises, far better than what I can hope for in a car collision. For that reason, I really don't like the fact that law deals with both offenses the same. I would much rather someone who was impaired try to get on their bike then get behind the wheel of a car, but if the law makes no distinction, the incentive to stay out of the car is lessened.

In these cases, too, being drunk does not seem to be what brought the law down on them. Neither had lights and at least one was riding erratically. Since you can't balance as well when drunk, the bicycle can kind of a rolling sobriety test. Someone who's not sober enough to ride can stand out pretty badly just by watching them ride. Someone who shouldn't be driving is often only noticed when they cause an accident. No one should be out on the streets in that condition, but if they are going to head out there anyway, I'd much rather they be on a bike.

So in a way this type of story is bad press for cyclists, but really to me it demonstrates how the law can actually encourage drunk driving by elevating what seems like a lesser offence to an equal offence. It's not bad at all that they were picked up. Their actions were dangerous and irresponsible. But they didn't avoid any of the consequences of driving drunk by getting on a bike, so one wonders if they'll make the same decision next time.
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Old 12-15-10, 12:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
Sadly this is an assumption a lot of people make about any cyclist who actually uses their bike to get around. They see someone biking in their regular clothes and assume that for some reason or another they can't drive, because, seriously, who would choose to ride a bike? I don't have many occasions to visit the liquor store, but I have no doubt that when I roll up there on my bike, some people assume I have a problem.

Drunk and in the street is a bad combination. I take issue with it being a DUI, which it is in my state and apparently in Florida as well, but there are public intoxication laws that can be enforced, and I wish they relied on those rather than DUI laws. Anyone on the streets and intoxicated can be a danger. On a bike or on foot they are more likely to be a danger to themselves then to others, but they can be a danger to others as well. A car, on the other hand, is far more likely to be a danger to others and far more likely to cause a fatality. I can imagine a situation where a drunk cyclist could cause a serious accident, but I'm not actually aware of any real situation, whereas drunk driving accidents with car drivers are all too common. As someone who is frequently out in traffic on my bike, I never worry that I'm going to get into an accident with a drunk cyclist, but at certain times and in certain areas I do worry about drunk drivers. Fact is that if I do collide with drunk cyclist, the damage is likely to amount to some bruises, far better than what I can hope for in a car collision. For that reason, I really don't like the fact that law deals with both offenses the same. I would much rather someone who was impaired try to get on their bike then get behind the wheel of a car, but if the law makes no distinction, the incentive to stay out of the car is lessened.

In these cases, too, being drunk does not seem to be what brought the law down on them. Neither had lights and at least one was riding erratically. Since you can't balance as well when drunk, the bicycle can kind of a rolling sobriety test. Someone who's not sober enough to ride can stand out pretty badly just by watching them ride. Someone who shouldn't be driving is often only noticed when they cause an accident. No one should be out on the streets in that condition, but if they are going to head out there anyway, I'd much rather they be on a bike.

So in a way this type of story is bad press for cyclists, but really to me it demonstrates how the law can actually encourage drunk driving by elevating what seems like a lesser offence to an equal offence. It's not bad at all that they were picked up. Their actions were dangerous and irresponsible. But they didn't avoid any of the consequences of driving drunk by getting on a bike, so one wonders if they'll make the same decision next time.
Well thought out and written^^^^^^^^
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Old 12-15-10, 05:39 PM   #8
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This story was from Sept. 2009. Old stuff.
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Old 12-15-10, 07:29 PM   #9
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This story was from Sept. 2009. Old stuff.
The date was not important to me. I was fascinated by the concept. I would have been happy to put it out there again to get that excellent response from Rob_E
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Old 12-15-10, 07:57 PM   #10
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I agree with Rob's comments. While drunk cycling should not be encouraged it clearly poses far less of a risk to other members of the public than drunk driving and should therefore be treated differently under the law. That can be done either by applying the general statutes against public intoxication or by having specific rules and penalties associated with biking under the influence. California takes the latter approach with a separate section in the vehicle code prohibiting biking while drunk and specifying a maximum fine of $250.
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Old 12-15-10, 09:08 PM   #11
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This guy was operating a vehicle while drunk. He was a hazard to himself and to others around him. Anyone who tries to minimize the hazard just doesn't have a clear understanding of the hazard. He should receive the appropriate penalty as would anyone else charged with the same offense.
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Old 12-16-10, 09:29 AM   #12
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I'd need to see pictures of the bikes to see if the handlebars were rotated up into the appropriate "bum bar" position before offering up my internet analysis.
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Old 12-16-10, 09:37 AM   #13
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"... the appropriate "bum bar" position. . ."

(LOL)

In Portland people refer to "transients/homeless people," whereas in New York (my former home) they say, "I just saw some crackhead on your bike!"

"Speaking of politically incorrect language, some people refer to inverted road drops as "bum bars," and a reader has recently informed me that (in what as far as I know is a first in the bicycle industry) one manufacturer called Bohemia Cycles is now offering this cockpit configuration "stock:"



While this setup may seem ill-advised, you can rest assured that Bohemian Cycles has indeed given them long and careful thought:



Handlebars, stems, seat posts and other components receive the same attention to detail.

Yes, thanks to this painstaking attention to detail, you now buy a brand-new bicycle equipped with what Portlanders and others call "transients/homeless people bars."

Last edited by Daddo; 12-16-10 at 09:49 AM. Reason: I left out text and photo
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Old 12-23-10, 07:15 PM   #14
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In Tn, I think it would just be Public Intoxication, because the law here is that you have to be behind the wheel of a Motor Vehicle, with the engine running, and it has to have been in motion on a public street under these conditions to meet the criteria for DUI. It's not uncommon for intoxicated individuals to get on horses, out in canoes, and bicycles. I think charging someone with DUI on a bicycle is ludicris, and an abuse of the legal system. Public Intoxication is more than sufficient, because in TN., they can jail you until you are sober, then fine you up to $300.00, jail you for up to 3 months, assign you to Public Service, and force you into rehab (where you would obviously belong after a few of these), if they so choose. That's plenty for that offense.

When I was much younger (in the early 80s), I have rode while very intoxicated, but only off-road on the (then) new 'Mountain Bikes'. Bicycling while drunk is not a particularly enjoyable experience. The extra physical activity accelerates your metabolism, causing you to process the alcohol very, very much more quickly, meaning you get sick, quicker, and the hang-over arrives very early. And the hang-overs are much worse, because not only has the alcohol depleted the Vitamin B in your liver, you have burned up all your other nutrients, as well as speeded up the dehydration that the alcohol started. I just remember it was not a particularly pleasant experience, but I did a lot of other stupid things back then, as well. I wouldn't recommend this one. A taxi is much better when you are hammered.
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Old 12-25-10, 12:50 PM   #15
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I see a "BUI" on a weekly basis in the summer months on Hilton Head Island.
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Old 01-13-11, 01:12 PM   #16
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Who would ever try to do this????
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