Home Law Facts Can you get a DUI on a bike?

Can you get a DUI on a bike?

Can you get a DUI on a Bike?

When you hear of DUI, what comes to mind immediately is the operation of a vehicle, usually a car under influence of alcohol or drugs. But can you get a DUI on a bike? What is the relevant law regulating riding a bicycle under influence? What states have Bike DUI laws?

In this article, we discuss the U.S. legal outlook on the use of a Bicycle while intoxicated, whether or not operating an electric or manual Bike while under the influence of alcohol or some other substance can get you a DUI charge. Kindly read on to know more.

Can you get a DUI on a bike?

Yes, in the U.S.A, several states have laws regulating the operation of a bicycle while intoxicated. There are 23 states that you can get DUI on a bike under vehicle DUI codes or separate laws making DUI on a bike an offense.

Can you get a DUI on a bike in California?

Technically, YES. In California, the California Vehicle Code section 21200 states that “Every person riding a bicycle upon a highway has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this division, including, but not limited to, provisions concerning driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages or drugs…”

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However, section 21200.5 of the code makes a separate and specific provision for people operating a Bicycle, specifically mentioning that it is an offence to ride a bike under influence and the applicable penalty.

“Notwithstanding Section 21200, it is unlawful for any person to ride a bicycle upon a highway while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or any drug, or under the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and any drug.

Any person arrested for a violation of this section may request to have a chemical test made of the person’s blood, breath, or urine for the purpose of determining the alcoholic or drug content of that person’s blood pursuant to Section 23612, and, if so requested, the arresting officer shall have the test performed.

A conviction of a violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250). Violations of this section are subject to Section 13202.5.”

Can you get a DUI on a bike in NY?

No, unlike California and other U.S. states that have specific codes regulating biking or even skateboarding under influence, the New York Vehicle code only makes mention of motorized vehicles.

Since a traditional bicycle is not motorized, it does not fall under this category and therefore you cannot get DUI on a bike in New York. However, if your bicycle is motorized, as in the case of E-bikes and scooters, contrary to manually operated bikes or scooters, you will fall under the technical definition of a motorized vehicle and can hence get DUI on a bike.

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It is worth noting that while a DUI may technically not apply for riding a bike under influence, you can be charged with some other infraction such as endangerment or public intoxication. These of course are misdemeanors which carry lesser penalties compared to what you’d face for a DUI.

Can you get a DUI on a bike in Michigan?

No, you cannot get a DUI on a Bike in Michigan. Similar to New York, The Michigan DUI statute limits DUIs to persons operating a motorized vehicle. As aforementioned, you will not face DUI charges for operating a traditional pedal bike or skateboard or scooter, although you could face other infractions for drunk and disorderly conduct.

It is also important to note that, notwithstanding the ineligibility of getting a DUI on a bike in Michigan, if by virtue of your intoxication you cause an accident, you will bear civil liability for damages and injuries suffered by others involved in the accident.

Can you get a DUI on a scooter?

Yes and No, depending on the mechanics of the scooter, you will be subject to the DUI codes governing operators of vehicles. E-scooters are motorized, and as such are subject to the DUI law. However, manual, non-motorized scooters cannot get DUI in states Michigan and New York.

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Similarly, riding an E-bike also falls under the ambit of motorized vehicles and you can therefore get a DUI on an E-bike.

What states can you get a DUI on a bike?

There are 23 states that you can get a DUI on a bike or have specific laws making riding a bicycle under influence an offense. Below is a list of these states.

State Can you get DUI on a Bike?
Alabama Yes
California Yes, under Bike laws
Colorado Yes
Connecticut Yes
District of Columbia Yes
Florida Yes
Georgia Yes
Hawaii Yes
Idaho Yes
Indiana Yes
Maryland Yes
Mississippi Yes
New Hampshire Yes
North Carolina Yes
North Dakota Yes
Ohio Yes
Oregon Yes
Pennsylvania Yes
Rhode Island Yes
South Dakota Yes
Texas Yes
Utah Yes
Wyoming Yes

Source: Avvo


In addressing the question Can you get a DUI on a bike? we have come to understand that the answer depends on which state you live in and at times, the mechanics of the bike.

23 US states have Bicycle DUI charges for people riding under the influence. Operating a motorized bicycle or scooter in states without bike DUI could land you in trouble because those are classified as vehicles in general and attract DUI under relevant vehicle codes.

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