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Can I receive a DUI while on a bicycle?

| Mar 30, 2020 | DUI |

Most Georgia residents understand that drinking and driving can result in a DUI. However, you may not be aware that you can also receive a DUI while riding a bicycle. 

The state also classifies bicycles as vehicles, so riders face similar laws as drunk drivers. 

Georgia DUI laws explained 

Bicycle Universe states that not all states have DUI laws against bicycles. The DUI laws in Georgia are against moving vehicles, which means that a police officer can assess your demeanor while you ride your bike. Law enforcement can then stop you and ask you to take a breath test or other measurement to determine your intoxication level. 

The officer can take you to jail and impound your bike if your blood alcohol content is at or higher than 0.08%. Besides alcohol, the state classifies controlled substance use while riding as a DUI. Both of these result in a misdemeanor charge for first-time offenders. 

Advocates for separate laws 

There are some people advocating for a separation between riding and operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. One reason for the desire to separate the laws is due to the fact that you can cause more problems in a motor vehicle than on a bike. In fact, intoxicated bicyclists generally cause fewer accidents. 

Currently, the state still lumps bicyclists under the general DUI category. Since bicycles require good balance to operate effectively, a police officer may have decided you are drunk based on assumptions about your bicycling behavior. These assumptions can cause a host of problems for you, especially if there is no basis for them.