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Is it Possible to Get a DUI While Riding a Bike?

As summer approaches and “stay home” orders are lifted, more and more people in the metropolitan area are looking forward to getting outdoors and enjoying the nice weather. A popular outdoor activity for children and adults is bike riding.

However, outside fun doesn’t end there. Family and friends often gather for get-togethers, BBQs, family reunions, and more. As more and more people gather, the potential of enjoying an alcoholic drink (or several) also grows.

While you know it is illegal to operate a vehicle if you have a blood alcohol of 0.8% or higher(1), what about if you are riding a bike or scooter? Can you get a DUI from riding a bike while intoxicated? This is a common question and one you can find the answer to here.

What Does the Law Say?

Currently, there are 21 states that have enforceable laws that make it illegal to ride a bike under the influence(2), but Kansas is not one of them.

While this is true, there was a proposed ordinance in Wichita in 2016 that wanted to make riding a bike while under the influence of drugs or alcohol a misdemeanor. If passed, this charge would carry a maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine, along with up to six months in jail(3). This particular proposal for making riding a bike while intoxicated illegal was unsuccessful.

Keep in mind, if you travel a few miles out of Kansas to Missouri, it’s an entirely different story. Here, mopeds and scooters may qualify as a motor vehicle. If it has an automatic transmission, and a cylinder capacity of under 50cc with a max speed of 30 mph, you must have a driver’s license to operate it. As a result, it may fall under the DUI law. There are some drivers of Lime and Bird electric scooters who have been charged with a DUI(4).

Stay Safe: Don’t Drink and Bike

If you really think about it, a better question is if you should operate your bike or scooter after you have drunk. In most cases (virtually all cases) the answer is a resounding “no.” Even if it isn’t illegal and you won’t face legal penalties, you may hurt yourself or someone else if you do this.

Remember, even a small amount of alcohol(5) can impair your judgment and slow your reaction time. If you get on a bike while you are intoxicated, you are putting many people at risk, including yourself even if it won’t result in a DUI. Also remember, as you travel to other areas, the laws may differ – so it always best to play it safe and avoid doing anything that may be considered dangerous or illegal. If you are in doubt, call a friend, a cab, or an Uber – it’s best for everyone.

Get More Legal Advice

When it comes to any type of question-related to the legality of your actions, contacting an attorney in the local area is the best way to find an accurate answer. Don’t take a chance with your freedom, you can avoid legal issues just by knowing the law. Contact Kitchin Law today.



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