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Bicycling Under the Influence


It is not uncommon for someone to be stopped by law enforcement for riding their bicycle after drinking alcohol. And many people who are stopped and arrested for are surprised to learn that it is, in fact, illegal to ride a bike while under the influence of alcohol. 



The next question is: why is cycling under the influence against the law?


According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 630 cyclists were killed and 51,000 were injured in the United States in 2009. Of those fatalities, 99 occurred in California. 


Of the 630 bicycle fatalities that occurred in the United States in 2009, 28% of the cyclists that were killed had a blood alcohol content of 0.01 percent or higher and 24% had a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher. 


Just as California’s DUI law is to protect people, including the drunk driver, the California legislature added what is commonly referred to as California’s CUI (cycling under the influence) law to the California Vehicle Code. 


California Vehicle Code section 212500 states in pertinent part, “…it is unlawful for any person to ride a bicycle upon a highway while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or any drug, or under the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and any drug. Any person arrested for a violation of this section may request to have a chemical test made of the person’s blood, breath, or urine for the purpose of determining the alcoholic or drug content of that person blood…”


A charge of 212500.5 is classified as a misdemeanor and if convicted maximum fine is $250 with no jail time.  


So before you hop on that Schwinn to get you home after drinking instead of driving to avoid a California DUI, you may still be stopped and arrested for a California CUI. 


The post Bicycling Under the Influence appeared first on Law Offices of Taylor and Taylor - DUI Central.

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