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Riding a Bicycle While Intoxicated: Is This DUI?

In California, we have many bicycle enthusiasts. Every community has pockets of cycling groups, whether it is for recreation or for fitness, or simply for the love of the look and feel of a bicycle. Particularly in beach cities up and down the coast, especially in Ventura, cyclists are a common fixture at any time of day.

For the most part, we know that most cyclists are law-abiding citizens. Because California roads can sometimes be unsafe for cyclists, they have to be extra careful and pay more attention to the posted signs, signal lights, and the flow of traffic. Make no mistake as well—the law does prohibit cyclists from driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This is referred to as “cycling under the influence” (CUI).

The Elements of CUI

Just as the laws were developed to prevent driving under the influence and to keep others safe, the same goes for CUI. Under California Vehicle Code Section 21200.5, law enforcement has the authority to arrest someone anyone suspected of riding a bicycle while intoxicated. They will look for telltale signs, similar to driving a vehicle under the influence—including unsteady handling of the bicycle, the smell of alcohol on the rider’s breath, and a flushed appearance.

If convicted of misdemeanor CUI, one could face the following penalties:

  • $250 fine
  • License suspension, if under 21
  • Can be charged with Public Intoxication

To secure a conviction, prosecutors need only prove that the individual was riding on a bicycle—propelled solely by human power—and is considered legally over the limit. As there are many conditions that can instill some doubt into the circumstances, there is a chance that you may have a valid defense against a CUI accusation.

Charged? Get Us on Your Case!

By contacting The Law Offices of Robert F. Sommers, you can have an aggressive and experienced Ventura DUI defense lawyer assisting you with every aspect of your case. Attorney Sommers is focused solely on helping those who are facing DUI charges.

Contact the firm today and schedule a free consultation to discuss your charges.