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Can I Get a DUI While Riding a Bike in California?

Riding a bike is a great way to get around, especially in California where the weather is often perfect for it. However, just like driving a car, there are rules and regulations that you need to follow. One of the most important rules is that you can face criminal charges for riding a bike drunk.

What is a DUI?

First, let's define what a DUI is. DUI stands for "driving under the influence." In California, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This includes cars, trucks, motorcycles, and even electric scooters. Although a bicycle is not considered a motorized vehicle, cycling under the influence is its own separate criminal offense.

What are the consequences of cycling under the influence?

If you are caught riding a bike while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you could be charged with a misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum fine of $250 but no actual jail time. Yet, a conviction can still result in having a misdemeanor on your criminal record, which can make it difficult to find employment and housing.

How can you avoid getting a DUI while riding a bike?

The easiest way to avoid getting a DUI while riding a bike is to simply not drink or use drugs before riding. However, if you do choose to drink or use drugs, there are a few things you can do to minimize your risk of getting a DUI.

First, make sure you are familiar with the laws in your area. In California, the legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08%. If you are over this limit, you can be charged with a DUI.

Second, make sure you are visible while riding. Wear bright clothing and use lights if you are riding at night.

Finally, be aware of your surroundings and ride defensively.

What should you do if you are charged with a DUI while riding a bike?

If you are charged with a DUI while riding a bike, it is important to seek legal representation as soon as possible. A criminal defense attorney can help you understand your rights and options. They can also help you build a strong defense and negotiate with the prosecution on your behalf.

At Campbell Whitten, we have experience defending clients charged with DUIs, and we can help you navigate the legal system.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation.