Biking and Drinking – BUI?

Biking and Drinking-Can it Result in a DUI? 

Individuals who are concerned about an arrest for drinking and driving often consider alternative means of transportation instead. Many people believe that riding a bicycle while intoxicated is safer than operating a motor vehicle, and that they will also not be arrested for doing so. How true are these statements? Let’s take a look at them a little closer.

Nevada law declares a DUI to occur whenever an individual is “driving with a certain level of a prohibited substance or metabolite in blood or urine”, or “driving while under the influence of a controlled substance.” This language leads one to wonder exactly what is considered “driving.”

In Nevada, driving generally includes operating a motorized vehicle such as a car, truck, boat or airplane. Riding a bicycle, motorized scooter or lawn tractor is typically not considered to be “driving.” While this could mean that DUI charges are not possible when riding a bicycle, citizens could nonetheless be charged with public intoxication, open container violations, minor in possession or curfew violations instead.

Riding a bicycle while drunk also may not be safer than driving a car would be. Those who are intoxicated may have trouble judging distances, and could crash into inanimate objects. They might also be unaware of approaching traffic, and could pull out in front of an oncoming car, thereby causing injuries to themselves and other motorists. Intoxicated riders could even face civil lawsuits to help accident victims recover their damages.

After consuming alcohol or drugs, riding a bicycle is not a good idea for several reasons. Rather than risk injury or arrest, individuals should call a cab or designate a responsible driver ahead of time.

If you have been cited with an alcohol charge dealing with your bicycle or vehicle, please call the Potter Criminal Defense team for help!