December 13, 2015
In Florida, a bicycle is considered a vehicle and must follow the same traffic rules as any other vehicle on the road. The law that describes a motor vehicle in Florida reads “every device in, upon or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, excepting devices used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.” Therefore, even though a bicycle is not a motorized vehicle, it is still considered a vehicle under Florida law.
Driving While Intoxicated
Under Florida law, a person is guilty of driving under the influence if that person is driving or in actual control of a vehicle and the person has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or higher. Because a bicycle is classified as a vehicle in the state, anyone with a BAC of .08 percent or above can be charged with driving while intoxicated.
Penalties for Driving While Intoxicated
In Florida, if you are found guilty of riding a bicycle while intoxicated, the penalties are just as severe as if you were behind the wheel of a car. This could mean up to nine months in jail, up to a $2,000 fine, six months to one-year driver’s license suspension and 50 hours of community service. Additionally, if you have been convicted of DUI in the past, a conviction of driving under the influence on a bicycle counts toward the total number of offenses. This means the penalties could be more severe if this is your second or third DUI offense.
Implied Consent Law
The implied consent law in Florida states that when a driver accepts the privileges of driving by receiving a state-issued driver’s license, they also agree to submit to a breathalyzer test after being stopped on suspicion of DUI. If the driver refuses to submit to the test, they may face a suspended license, even if it is later determined they were not intoxicated. The refusal to take the test can also be used against you in a court hearing.
However, riding a bicycle does not require you to hold a state-issued driver’s license, which means there is no implied consent. The law applies only to motorized vehicles, which means that, even if you hold a valid driver’s license, you may still be able to refuse a breath test after being stopped for a DUI on a bicycle and not face a license suspension.
Contact the Khonsari Law Group for Riding a Bike While Intoxicated Defense
The laws regarding DUI and bicycles can be confusing. If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI, regardless of the mode of transport, contact the Khonsari Law Group today. Since 2011, we have worked to protect clients’ rights.