Drinking and driving is not only against New York law, but it involves serious risks both to you and to other drivers on the road. But what about drinking and biking? Can you get pulled over and arrested for a DUI while riding a bicycle? This is a popular question that our New York City bicycle injury lawyers encounter, especially with the new popularity of bicycles since the launch of New York’s Citi Bike Share Program.
The Law on Drinking and Biking
While in some states riding a bicycle under the influence of alcohol can lead to the same DUI charges as those a motorist could face, in New York you will not be charged with a DUI for riding a bicycle while drunk. The legislature specifically defines the law as applying to the operation of a motor vehicle.
In other words, if you are riding a bicycle, skateboard, or any other non-motorized vehicle and have had one too many alcoholic beverages, you do not have to worry about being pulled over for a DUI.
Exceptions to the Law
However, as with all laws, some exceptions do apply. If you have altered your bike by installing a motor, you will not be exempt from New York DUI laws.
In addition, just because you are exempt from DUI laws when drinking and biking, it does not mean that you will not face misdemeanor charges, such as public intoxication or some other form of public endangerment. Although these involve lesser charges with relatively minor punishment, they will nevertheless result in court costs and additional fines.
Don’t Drink and Bike
If you choose to consume alcoholic beverages, the best policy is to err on the side of caution and not ride your bicycle or any other mode of transportation in order to avoid any potential legal trouble and danger to both your own health and those of others on the road.
Contact an Experienced New York Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident and suffered serious injuries, it is important that you immediately consult with an experienced lawyer. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our New York City bicycle injury lawyers, please call Gersowitz, Libo & Korek, P.C. at (212) 584-2494.