In Los Angeles today, 5 bicyclists were arrested for DUI. Can you really get a DUI for riding your bicycle.? The first question that must be answered is whether a bicycle is a “vehicle” within the meaning of Vehicle Code § 670.
Vehicle Code § 670 states that “[a] “vehicle” is a device by which any person or property may be propelled, moved, or drawn upon a highway, excepting a device moved exclusively by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.”
So, the answer is no. A bicycle is not considered a vehicle within the meaning of the DUI statute Vehicle Code § 23152(a) or (b). Unfortunately it does not end here.
Knowing that you might be drinking a little too much to be safe behind the wheel of a car you ride your bike thinking you’ll play it safe. I can’t be a danger on the road if I ride my bicycle. I’m a good citizen. Right? Well, not according to our smart law makers.
There is a specific section of the Vehicle Code that makes it a misdemeanor to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. What is this ridiculous law? Vehicle Code § 21200.5 is the nanny state law that allows an officer to arrest you for riding your bicycle while having a little too much to drink. Usually a misdemeanor has the possibility of jail. Under Vehicle Code § 21200.5, you cannot be fined more than $250.
What’s next? Chewing gum while under the influence?