Think riding your bike to nearby bars is a better option than driving your car? Think again. Just because you are not in a car does not mean that you cannot get pulled over and even arrested for driving under the influence. Bikes are considered a vehicle in Florida, and thus cannot be operated by someone that has consumed alcohol or drugs before their use.
But I Wasn't Driving a Car
Someone biking after drinking may be charged with biking under the influence. Florida law considers any vehicle that is powered by the human body or a combination of the human body and a motor as a vehicle. In order for the vehicle to be classified as a bicycle, it must travel at speeds under 20 miles per hour. Since a bicycle is considered a vehicle, it is subject to the same restrictions as any other vehicles on the road.
If arrested for biking under the influence in Florida, a rider may face:
- 6 to 9 months in jail
- Up to $2,000 fine
- 180 days to 1 year driver's license suspension
- 50 hours of community service
A bicyclist in Florida must ride with a blood alcohol content over 0.10 in order to be arrested for biking under the influence. However, since a motor vehicle license issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles has not been issued for someone riding a bike, they do not legally have to consent to any test of their BAC.
Any DUI charge that occurs when a rider is on a bicycle counts towards their total number of DUI convictions. So whether it is your first time getting arrested or your fifth, you may be facing misdemeanor or felony charges for avoiding the use of a car when drinking.
Defense for biking under the influence is different than defense for other vehicles. When charged with this crime, you need to know your defense has experience and how Florida law applies to your unique situation.
Set up a complimentary consultation with Parks & Braxton, P.A. to get started on your defense today.