Cycling While Intoxicated? Could Be A DUI, Longmont Woman Learns
LONGMONT, COLORADO — Planning to pedal home after tossing back a few beers? That’s technically illegal, as one woman learned last Saturday when she was cited for riding a bike while intoxicated. Bicycles are considered to be vehicles under Colorado law, and that means that if you operate one while intoxicated, you could find yourself trying to walk a straight line.
Regulations on cycling under the influence vary state-by-state. In some cases, you’re allowed to do it if you are not on a road. In others, there are no restrictions and in some states police are instructed not to enforce the laws. Not so in Colorado — riding a bike while intoxicated is illegal, and is usually enforced.
Some cycling advocates push back against such laws, saying that it will encourage more people to get into their cars while they’ve been drinking. You’re generally less likely to cause harm to others on a bike than in a car. However, the regulations also protect bike riders themselves: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 22 percent of cyclists killed in 2016 had a blood-alcohol concentration above .08 g/dL.
“As a practical matter, unless you are clearly endangering yourself, others or property, it is unlikely that you would be randomly stopped and given a field sobriety test while riding your bicycle,” a 2014 post explains. “This is especially true if you are not acting belligerently, or otherwise bringing unnecessary attention to yourself. Please understand, however, that there is no question that it is a violation of the state DUI laws to ride a bicycle while legally intoxicated.
This story appeared in the Patch in Boulder Co and the full story can be seen here https://patch.com/colorado/boulder/cycling-while-intoxicated-thats-dui-longmont-woman-learns
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