In some states, such as Florida, an individual can be charged with a DUI while riding a bicycle. A local Tennessean experienced the consequences of biking under the influence while on vacation at the popular Sanibel Island in Florida according to The Charlotte Observer.
Under Florida Statute 316.2065, bicycles have “…all of the rights and duties applicable to the driver of any vehicle under this chapter.” In Florida, intoxication for a DUI is measured the same for a bike as a vehicle driver. The legal standard for intoxication is a concentration of alcohol in your blood of more than 0.08% for a DUI.
Florida law specifically excludes the word “motorized” from the DUI statute. Therefore, since operating any vehicle under the influence of alcohol is illegal in Florida, and the state considers a bike a vehicle, it is unlawful to operate a bike after becoming intoxicated.
The punishment for biking under the influence is the same as driving a motorized vehicle under the influence. This punishment includes a fine of up to $1,000, imprisonment of up to 6 months, one year of probation, 50 hours of community service, DUI School, and driver’s license revocation under Florida Statute 316.193.
This poses the question, “Can you get a DUI on a pedal bike in any state?” No, each state has laws about biking under the influence.
For instance, in Tennessee, an individual is only subject to a DUI charge if they are operating a “motorized” vehicle under the influence. A regular bicycle without a motor is not subject to DUI consequences. However, it is important to note that Tennesseans are subject to other criminal offenses for operating a bike under the influence. These include a range of potential punishments such as reckless endangerment, public intoxication, or other citable offenses relating to cycling.
About the Author: Steven Oberman has been licensed in Tennessee since 1980, and successfully defended over 2,500 DUI defendants. Steve was the first lawyer in Tennessee to be Board Certified as a DUI Defense Specialist by the National College for DUI Defense, Inc. (NCDD). Among the many honors bestowed upon him, Steve has served as Dean of the NCDD and currently serves as chair of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers DUI Committee.
He is the author of DUI: The Crime & Consequences in Tennessee, updated annually since 1991 (Thomson-West), and co-author with Lawrence Taylor of the national treatise, Drunk Driving Defense, 9th edition (Wolters Kluwer/Aspen). Steve has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee Law School since 1993 and has received a number of prestigious awards for his faculty contributions. He is a popular international speaker, having spoken at legal seminars in 30 states, the District of Columbia and seven foreign countries. After being named a Fulbright Scholar, Steve was honored to teach as a Visiting Professor at the University of Latvia Law School in the capital city of Riga, Latvia during the Spring Semester of 2019. During the Spring Semester of 2023, Steve taught as a Visiting Professor at Eötvös Loránd University Faculty of Law in Budapest, Hungary. If you would like to contact the author, please visit his website at www.tndui.com.