Riding a bicycle under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense in California. While it may not seem as dangerous as driving a car, it can still lead to accidents and injuries, as well as criminal charges.
DUI is generally associated with cars, trucks, and other motor vehicles. While you cannot be charged with a vehicle-related DUI in California, you can actually face a separate charge called "cycling under the influence" (CUI).
What is a Bicycle DUI in California?
Under California Vehicle Code Section 21200.5, it is unlawful for any person to ride a bicycle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both, to the extent that their mental or physical abilities are impaired and they cannot operate the bicycle with the same caution and care as a sober person would under similar circumstances. The main difference between CUI and DUI is that there is a legal limit for a DUI charge.
What Are the Penalties for CUI in California?
While CUI is a misdemeanor, a conviction is punishable by a fine of up to $250 with no jail sentence and no driver's license suspension.
What Should You Do If You're Arrested for a Bicycle DUI in California?
If you're arrested for a bicycle DUI in California, it's important to seek legal representation as soon as possible. A criminal defense attorney can help you understand your rights and options, and can work to minimize the penalties you face. It's also important to remember that anything you say to the police can be used against you in court, so it's best to remain silent and request an attorney.
How Can You Avoid a Bicycle DUI in California?
The best way to avoid a bicycle DUI in California is to never ride while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you plan on drinking, make sure to arrange for a designated driver or use public transportation. It's also important to wear a helmet and follow all traffic laws while riding your bicycle.
If you need legal assistance with a bicycle DUI case, contact the Law Office of Dennis Kuntz today for a free consultation.