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Drunk biking: The charges you could face for biking drunk

Drinking and driving charges can be placed in more instances than just when you're behind the wheel of a car. Bicycles are also considered to be vehicles, and you can be charged for biking while intoxicated.

Much like an SUV or other motor vehicle, a bicycle has the potential to cause injuries if it is involved in an accident. Not all courts agree on the subject of drunk biking, but it is possible for charges to be placed for recklessness and negligence.

If state laws say that drunk-driving laws prohibit the use of motor vehicles when intoxicated, then you may not be charged for biking under the influence unless your bike is motorized in some way, shape or form. For instance, electric bikes could fall into a grey area. If the state law is more general and says no vehicle can be operated, then you can receive a driving under the influence charge simply for riding your bicycle while intoxicated.

In Florida specifically, biking when drunk is illegal. Bicyclists have the same right to be on the road as other drivers, and they are legally required to follow the same laws. So, if you're stopped on your bike when you're drunk, you can expect to be charged with a DUI. Can you fight it? Yes, and you should defend yourself from the moment you're accused. Biking is typically safer than being behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, and if you were on a sidewalk or off the road, you may not be able to be charged for drunk driving, since you never went on the roadway. Even if you can be charged, your attorney can help you fight the allegations.

Source: FindLaw, "Drunk Biking," accessed June 16, 2016

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