Here in the Keys, the weather is perfect for riding your bicycle all year round. Riding your bike is not only fun and exercise but also a valid form of transportation to work, school, or extracurricular activities. While you may consider riding your bike to the bar for drinks or for an afternoon of bar hopping with your friends safer than driving your car, it is crucial to note that Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges are severe for bicycle riders under the influence of alcohol.
Bicycle Accident Statistics Paint A Grim Picture
Riding your bicycle may seem safer and more practical than driving a motor vehicle when drinking, but bicycle accident statistics show otherwise. More than 800 bicycle accidents occur yearly, with alcohol reported in 37% of fatal crashes. If you are responsible for causing an accident while riding your bike under the influence of alcohol, you could be charged with manslaughter for the resulting death.
Bicycle Laws In Florida
Bicycle regulations in the Sunshine State are established by Florida Statute 316.2065, which states that a person riding a bicycle possesses all of the duties and rights applicable to the driver of any motor vehicle. Under Florida law, riding a bike under the influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or more is considered a DUI, regardless of how many drinks you’ve consumed or when you consumed them.
Penalties for Bicycle Riding While Under The Influence Of Alcohol
With no prior record, the penalty for a DUI conviction is a fine between $500 and $1,000 and up to six months in jail. Fees and jail time increase if you are a repeat offender, and you may be required to undergo counseling or report regularly to a probation officer. If you are convicted for three or four DUIs, the offense becomes a felony with prison terms. You must understand riding a bicycle while under the influence of alcohol is just as serious as driving a car while drunk.
An Attorney Can Help If You Are Charged With DUI
If you were enjoying the Florida sunshine while riding your bicycle and were charged with a DUI, you would benefit from hiring an attorney to help you navigate the legal process. A DUI attorney can help reduce the impact of your DUI as soon as you get charged with the offense, handling essential matters with the DMV and the court to ensure you remain in good standing. Your attorney will work for you to interrogate the arresting police officer, review evidence, and determine the accuracy of the breathalyzer test or subsequent urine or blood testing.
The best way to avoid a DUI while riding your bicycle is not to drink alcohol and ride your bike. However, if you are charged with DUI on your bicycle, call an experienced attorney as soon as possible.