Can You Get a DUI Riding a Bike in Pennsylvania?
DUI charges are most commonly brought against a person in the context of his or her driving a motor vehicle, such as a car, SUV, or truck, while intoxicated. But in Pennsylvania, a person can be charged with a DUI for bicycling under the influence of drugs or alcohol, too.
Under Pennsylvania law, a bicycle is considered a vehicle and a person can be charged with a DUI for riding a bike with a blood alcohol content (BAC) above .08, just as they can be charged for driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated.
Penalties for bicycling while intoxicated are as severe as they are for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and can include fines, possible incarceration, and a criminal record that can affect future employment opportunities, job applications, and eligibility for home ownership or apartment rentals.
If you’ve been found to be operating a bicycle while intoxicated—or any vehicle, for that matter our experienced Pittsburgh DUI attorneys are here to help you. We’ve helped numerous individuals to reduce or lessen their charges following a Pennsylvania DUI arrest.
College Bicyclist Convicted of a DUI
College can often be a time of rule breaking—but breaking the law by riding a bicycle while intoxicated can lead to a conviction involving hefty fines. In 2013, for example, a 32-year-old State College man was charged for with a DUI for riding his bicycle while intoxicated in downtown State College. The man’s BAC was measured at .164, more than twice the legal limit.
Prosecutors say the man was unaware that riding a bicycle while intoxicated is illegal and quoted him as insisting, “it’s a [expletive] bike.” After a non-jury trial in Centre County was held, the man was found guilty and convicted of bicycling while intoxicated.
Pennsylvania DUIs — Not Just for Motor Vehicles
In Pennsylvania, operating a vehicle—including bicycles—with a BAC above .08 is against the law. While automobiles are the most common form of vehicle involved in DUI charges, they’re not the only type of vehicle in which one can be charged with a DUI. This is because, under Pennsylvania Vehicle Code 102, “vehicle” is defined as “Every device in, upon or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, except devices used exclusively upon rails or tracks.” Under this definition, bicycles, dirt bikes, mopeds, and scooters are vehicles in which a person can be charged with a DUI, alongside cars, trucks, SUVs, and motorcycles.
How Our Experienced Pittsburgh DUI Attorneys Can Help You
Whether you’ve been charged with driving a bicycle, car, truck, SUV, motorcycle, moped, scooter, or other motor vehicle, our experienced Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyers are here to help you.
We’ve represented countless individuals who have been charged with a DUI and are familiar with the laws surrounding what constitutes a vehicle in Pennsylvania. If you’ve been charged with a DUI or want to learn more about laws surrounding bicycling while intoxicated, contact a Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyer today to receive a free, initial consultation at (412) 281-2146.