DUI laws vary from state to state and every jurisdiction has its own rules and regulations. In Florida, DUI charges are generally brought against motorists in cars, motorcycles, and boats.
What many Florida residents might not know is that DUI laws also apply to certain non-motorized vehicles, including bicycles.
If you’re a cyclist in the Sunshine State, stay safe and avoid criminal penalties by not biking while under the influence, or you could face serious consequences.
Bicycle Laws in Florida
DUI laws are designed to keep drivers and pedestrians safe. Florida has strict statutes against the intoxicated operation of any vehicle. The reason DUI laws are so strict, across any jurisdiction, is because lawmakers want to discourage this dangerous and often deadly activity as much as possible.
In 2020 alone, there were 746 deaths related to DUI across Florida.
In Florida, motor vehicle statutes regulate bicycle rules across the state. The statute establishes that anyone riding a bicycle is expected to follow the same duties as the driver of any other vehicle.
What this means is that, under Florida law, your bicycle is considered to be a vehicle and you could be charged with DUI if you have more than a 0.08 blood alcohol level (BAC) in your system while biking.
Legal Penalties for DUI on a Bicycle
Because the law does not differentiate among DUIs received while driving cars, motorcycles, scooters, or bicycles, cyclists can expect to face the same hefty penalties and up to six months in county jail for their first DUI offense.
Depending on your previous conviction history, the fines and jail penalties could be multiplied and even land you with a felony DUI conviction.
DUI convictions are practically impossible to expunge from your record in Florida. This costly mistake could follow you for years to come and affect your ability to find housing and employment.
How a DUI Attorney Can Help
A Volusia County criminal defense attorney can assist you by building a strong case in your favor.
A DUI attorney will look at the evidence presented to find the best course of action if you were charged with DUI while riding a bicycle.
Bicycle DUI Defense in Daytona Beach
If you were charged with a DUI, your lawyer will carefully review your situation in order to determine the best options moving forward.
They may question the validity of the medical device used to measure your blood alcohol level. They may also interview law enforcement officers involved in your arrest and witnesses who may have been present.
If dismissal is not an option, your attorney will try to reduce your DUI charge to a lesser infraction, such as reckless driving. Under Florida law, reckless driving can also be applied to cycling.
Reduced reckless driving charges come with fewer penalties and can be expunged from your record.
Resolution of Your Bicycle DUI
Every DUI case is unique, and there are many factors to consider when building a case and finding resolution. The best approach to DUI defense in Daytona Beach is to consult with a seasoned, dedicated attorney.