DUI Law FAQ: Can I get a DUI on a bicycle?

Most people who are charged with a DUI made a mistake or error in judgement. This is often the case when the charge resulted from riding a bicycle while under the influence. As a DUI lawyer, we have known of people charged with a DUI because they were riding a bicycle while intoxicated, and chose to ride the bicycle because they thought it was safer than a vehicle. If you’re facing this type of charge, you should have a DUI lawyer on your side. 


In most states, it is illegal to drive, operate, or be in control of the movement of a vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance or alcohol. If a police officer finds that you are impaired in a way that hinders your ability to safely drive or operate a vehicle, or you have a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher, you can face a DUI charge. 

The first way in which you can be charged is subjective, and largely depends on the observations of the arresting officer. The second way requires a breath or blood test. 

What is a Vehicle?

In some states, the term vehicle is further explained and specifically refers to things like a motor vehicle, car, motorcycle, and so forth. Other states will only use the term vehicle or motor vehicle. When the later term is used, and there are no laws specific to a bicycle, a lawyer may be able to fight the DUI on a bicycle. States that use the term vehicle do so because the definition can be extremely broad. This, it may include scooters, segways, skateboards, and even bicycles. This means that it may be possible to be charged with a DUI on a bicycle.  

Potential DUI Penalties

A bicycle related DUI is likely to be handled in the same way as another DUI that involves, for example, a car. You can face the same penalties, but these will depend on the level of intoxication and other factors related to the case. Penalties may include:

  • Probation
  • Fines
  • Possible jail sentence
  • Suspension of a driver’s license
  • Loss of a professional license

It is possible to lose a drivers license even though you were riding a bicycle when arrested for a DUI. 

Considerations for Minors

If you are under the age of 21, use a bicycle as your primary method of transportation, and were caught under the influence while riding your bike, you may be subjected to harsher penalties that people who are of age. Furthermore, the BAC for a DUI in minors is less than the .08% standard. You should have a criminal lawyer help you with your case if you are in this situation. 

DUI Defenses a Lawyer Might Use

No two cases are exactly alike. The defense used by your DUI lawyer will depend on the facts of your case. The following are some examples:

  • Your rights were violated
  • You were coerced into incriminating yourself
  • The breathalyzer was not administered correctly

These defenses are usually difficult for a non-lawyer to raise. A DUI lawyer, like a drunk driving lawyer in Newark from Rispoli & Borneo, P.C., may be able to help you formulate a defense that works. Call a law firm to schedule a consultation with a DUI lawyer today.