Friday, July 27, 2012

Boise Criminal Defense Attorneys - DUI Lawyers (208) 472-2383 - Does DUI Apply to Riding a Bike Drunk?

 As a Boise Criminal Defense Attorney I see a lot of off the wall things.  Sometimes they are laws that make a ton of sense but are applied wrong and other times they are down right ridiculous situations.  DUI laws are in place to protect us, but sometimes they fall short.  Driving Under the Influence refers to operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  The key word here is "motor vehicle".  I bring this distinction up because on Wednesday, in downtown Boise, there was an accident caused by an individual who was under the influence of alcohol.  He ran a red light and crashed into a car.  The thing is, he was riding a bicycle.  He wasn't charged with DUI.  Instead, he was cited for running a red light.

Can You Get a DUI on a Bike?
The man wasn't charged with DUI because the law doesn't apply to bikes.  The irony here is that if you are riding a bike when you are drunk you can cause harm to yourself or to others, just like you can if you are driving a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  A further goofy situation this causes is, what constitutes a motor vehicle?  You can be cited for DUI if you are riding a scooter and are drunk, but does that apply to an electric scooter?  What if you are riding a bike that has a motor attached?  What if you are riding a bike that has a motor attached but you are riding it using the pedals?  You can see how the situation quickly becomes ridiculous.  The short answer is, no, you cannot get a DUI operating a bicycle when you are drunk.

What Happens if You Cause an Accident Operating a Bicycle Under the Influence?
In true Criminal Lawyer fashion I will say, the answer to this depends upon the situation.  If you run a red light and cause an accident, you will be cited with failure to obey a traffic signal.  If you are riding your bike drunk in a disorderly fashion you might be charged with disorderly conduct or public drunkenness.  If you are drunk on your bike and you crash into the state of Idaho property and cause it harm, you might be charged with destruction of public property - and the list goes on.  This isn't fancy criminal attorney foot work, it just is the state of the law in Idaho.

If you have been charged with a DUI or other crime in Idaho and need to speak to a Boise Criminal Defense Attorney or Boise DUI Lawyer, please give us a call, 208-472-2383 - You will be glad you did.


  1. We provide zealous representation for our clients from intake throughout trial. If you find yourself in need of legal representation, do not hesitate to contact our office criminal defense attorney

  2. The best choice is not to cause any accident. Be Careful riding. Anyway, great post to read. Thanks Mr. Boise