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Cycling While Intoxicated – Is It Illegal?

Say you have had a few rounds with your friends and it is time to go home. You know absolutely where you stand if you get behind the wheel of a car when you are above the legal limit, but what about your bike? Sure, watching drunk cyclists may be funny on YouTube, but it is just as dangerous as driving under the influence, but could it be just as illegal?

Yes and no.

The state laws and courts in the United States are actually pretty split on the subject of drunk biking. While cycling under the influence is typically not as deadly to others, it is dangerous to your own person and the property of others. Some laws acknowledge this and have laws against cycling under the influence to protect yourself while other states have a more laissez faire attitude considering the nature of a bicycle.

When considering cycling while drunk, even if you do not know your state’s stance, keep in mind that state’s with larger metropolises like Chicago, Los Angeles, or New York are likely to have laws against it while more rural areas are likely just to let it slide.

If caught by police in one of these more populous areas, you put yourself at risk of a DUI as well as a hefty fine. If you do happen to get into a cycling accident while intoxicated, depending on the severity of the accident, you may be at risk for a civil lawsuit and even a Class F felony charge if anyone else is injured due to your intoxication.

So the moral of the story is that even if you are riding a bike, it is still illegal to do it if you are intoxicated. If you have been in an accident that was the fault of a drunk cyclist, contact us today to see if your state’s laws merit legal action.



Southern California