Can You Get a DUI on a Bicycle?
Riding a bicycle after drinking alcohol may seem like a safe choice since it is ‘technically’ not drinking and driving. However, you can still get a DUI while riding a bicycle in Colorado.
DUI On A Bicycle in Colorado
In Colorado, bicycles are seen the same way as motor vehicles under Colorado Statute Section 42-4-102(112). As a result, any individual operating or driving a vehicle (bike included) under the influence of alcohol or drugs can be arrested for DUI (Statute Section 42-4-1301). In Colorado, the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent. Additionally, those under the legal drinking age of 21 can also be arrested for a DUI while riding a bicycle with a BAC of 0.02 percent or higher.
When Does Law Enforcement Intervene?
Generally, law enforcement is more concerned about DUIs occurring by drivers of motor vehicles than bicycle riders. This is due to the more considerable impact alcohol-related car crashes have on the people involved. However, that does not mean a police officer will not take the time to stop and arrest a person that is under the influence while riding a bike. If you are belligerent or drawing unnecessary attention to yourself, the chances of being stopped dramatically increase. Additionally, bicycle DUI arrests often occur when an accident happens, there is a citizen complaint or a traffic infraction.
When an officer notices the bicyclist acting impaired and stops them, they will then conduct a thorough DUI investigation. A DUI investigation consists of the officer’s observations, the bicyclist’s statements or admissions, field sobriety tests, and witness statements.
Penalties for DUIs on Bicycles
The penalties for a DUI on a bicycle are the same as if you had been driving a vehicle in Colorado. Therefore, you may be subject to the following:
A first-offense DUI charge is considered a misdemeanor and carries the following penalties:
- Minimum of 5 days in county jail and up to one year
- Between $600 to $1,000 in fines
- 24 to 96 hours of community service
- DUI classes
Depending on the situation, judges are often more lenient in DUI cases involving bikes since they are less of a danger to others. As a result, you may not have your driver’s license suspended or receive points against it. However, each subsequent offense can result in more severe penalties and possibly more jail time.
What To Do After a DUI on a Bicycle
If you are arrested for DUI on a bicycle, contact a Breckenridge DUI defense attorney as soon as possible to avoid criminal penalties. A DUI charge can affect your life in many ways, including making it challenging to get a job. An attorney can use many potential legal defenses to help you fight a DUI. For example, there was no probable cause to stop you, you were not bicycling on a public street or road, the breath test was faulty, etc. Therefore, working with a defense lawyer will significantly increase your chances of minimizing the penalties or eliminating the charges altogether.