Bicycle DWI: Drunk Driving Isn't Restricted to Motor Vehicles
We at The Law Offices of Jason Trumpler believe that everyone in the greater Austin area deserves a fair shake from the law. This is why we offer strong DWI defense and legal counsel, helping you make the best choices with regard to your legal options.
Many people come to our firm following drunk driving charges while behind the wheel. Yet there are also potential issues with biking under the influence (BUI) to consider. Let's go over these right now.
Is Drunk Biking Really a Crime?
While there is no specific law on the books that makes drunk biking illegal per se, it is a punishable offense. Current laws on the books apply to motor vehicles with regard to drunk driving, not bicycles.
The reason you may still be punished for drinking while biking is obvious. Riding a bike while drunk can make you a major hazard to yourself as well as others on the road. The chances of getting into an accident with a vehicle or with pedestrians increases a great deal, which means a greater likelihood of injury to yourself and others.
How Is Intoxication Assessed for Drunk Biking Cases?
If a law enforcement officer stops you on your bike because of suspected drunk biking, he or she may ask you to do a field sobriety test. These are basic tests that check balance, coordination, and an assessment of mental alertness.
The police officer may also ask you to take a breathalyzer test to check your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). A BAC of 0.08 is the legal limit for operating a motor vehicle, though if your behavior is deemed reckless, any level of intoxication may be grounds for citation or arrest.
Penalties for Drunk Biking
The penalties for drunk biking in Texas can vary depending on the nature of your situation. You may be charged with public intoxication, which carries a fine up to $500. Multiple public intoxication charges may result in jail time. If you injure someone while riding your bike, you may face additional penalties and jail time depending on the nature of the incident.
Are Sobriety Tests Always Accurate?
No. In fact, they can be quite flawed.
Field sobriety tests, for instance, are not objective since they do not measure BAC. Someone undergoing a field sobriety test may also be nervous, causing this person to fail simple tasks such as standing on one foot or walking in a straight line.
Similarly, issues with breathalyzer calibration can lead to false positives. You may not be intoxicated at all, but issues with the breathalyzer can make you appear more intoxicated than you really are to the arresting officer.
How a Defense Attorney Can Help in a Drunk Biking Case
If you have been charged with drunk biking, an attorney can provide you with expert legal representation. Your case and the nature of it will be carefully assessed so a strong legal defense can be crafted. We will work to get charges dropped or reduced, and then provide you with additional counsel after resolution of your case if necessary.
In short, going it alone can be difficult, which is why working with a defense lawyer is so crucial in any kind of drunk driving case.
Learn More About Drunk Driving Arrests and Cases
For more information about your legal rights following a drunk driving arrest or charge, be sure to contact our criminal defense law firm today. The team at the Law Offices of Jason Trumpler looks forward to helping you in your time for legal need.