Written by Gregory Monte.
While I was doing research for yesterday’s blog post about whether bicyclists could legally roll through stop signs, I came across an interesting statute in Utah – Title 41, Chapter 6a, Part 11, Section 1102 – that got me thinking about the question posed in today’s post.
Here is what it says:
“A person operating a nonmotorized bicycle or a vehicle or device propelled by human power is not subject to the penalties related to operator licenses under alcohol and drug-related traffic offenses.”
Do you see the part that indicates an intoxicated biker is “not subject to the penalties?” When I first read this, I thought that it meant there was no DUI for bike riders in Utah. Upon further research, however, I realized that this only meant that there was no penalty applied to an individual’s driver’s license (“operator licenses”) because of a bicycle DUI (like there would be for a motor vehicle DUI). The bottom line is that you certainly can be charged for biking under the influence of alcohol in Utah.
In any case, this inspired me to check into the DUI laws for bicycles across the US. It turns out that there are many differences among the states. For example, in California there is a separate category for bicycles (Section 21200) and for motor vehicles (Section 23152). The same is true for Kentucky – Chapter 189A for motor vehicles and Chapter 189A, Section 52 for non-motor vehicles.
If you want to know how your particular state treats this issue, check out the following AVO website article: A state-by-state guide to biking under the influence.
Or just don’t drink and bike no matter where you live …