Can You Get A DUI On A Bicycle In Florida? 

On behalf of Patrick McLain Law | June 19, 2024
Photo of Bicycle Accident Scene

Many people in Florida enjoy riding a bicycle on the beach and around the beautiful scenery found throughout the Sunshine State. But can you get a DUI on a bike in Florida? The answer is yes. That’s why it’s important to avoid consuming alcoholic beverages before getting on your bike. However, if the worst happens and you face DUI charges, you can rely on a skilled defense lawyer to fight for you. Florida law takes DUI seriously and the impacts on your life can be dire. 

At Patrick McLain Law, our outstanding Fort Myers DUI defense lawyers will fight tirelessly to minimize the impact of a DUI charge on a bicycle. We will strive to get the charge dismissed or negotiate for the least impactful punishment if possible. Patrick McLain and his fellow DUI defense attorneys have a five-star rating on Avvo and a Preeminent Rating on Martindale-Hubbell. Learn more about DUI on a bicycle in Florida, then speak to our DUI attorney if you have detailed questions. 

Bicycle DUI Laws In Florida 

Before riding a bicycle after consuming alcoholic beverages, be aware of bicycle DUI laws in Florida. Being intoxicated in public in Florida is a misdemeanor so if you cycle after drinking and exhibit signs of intoxication, you could be charged. Florida treats biking and drinking the same as driving a car under the influence. This means if you are above the legal limit for alcohol and the police stop you on your bicycle, you can be charged and possibly arrested. You will need experienced attorneys immediately if this happens to you. 

The reason bicycling while intoxicated is illegal in Florida is that even though you aren’t in a car, it is still risky behavior that can injure you and others. There are approximately 800 bike accidents in Florida every year and about ⅓ of them involve alcohol. Also, about 20% of cyclists who died in a motor vehicle accident had a blood alcohol content above the legal limit of .08%. Being legally intoxicated on a bike increases your chances of an accident by 2000%. 

If you are on your bicycle and crash into a car, you will likely suffer severe or fatal injuries. You could face civil and criminal penalties if another party is hurt in a bicycle accident. This means you could be found liable in a lawsuit and be required to pay for the injured party’s medical expenses. Getting a DUI while riding a bike is something to avoid! 

Determining If You Are Under The Influence While On A Bicycle

How does one get a drunk driving charge on a bicycle? Measuring intoxication for a cyclist uses the same procedures as doing so for a motor vehicle driver. The legal definition for intoxication in Florida is when your blood alcohol concentration is .08% or higher. 

If your BAC is .15% or above, the DUI charge is more serious, and the penalties are more severe. If you injure another person while biking under the influence, you could also face additional penalties such as a longer jail sentence. 

Furthermore, you don’t necessarily have to be riding a bike to get a DUI charge. If you are simply walking your bicycle on a sidewalk and are intoxicated, the police could charge you with public intoxication or disorderly conduct. 

First-Time DUI Penalties Under Florida Law 

A DUI while riding a bike in Florida can lead to severe penalties, which is why you should always retain a lawyer as soon as possible after being charged. Potential penalties include: 

  • A fine between $500 and $1,000. 
  • CXourt costs and fees, can total several thousand dollars. 
  • A jail term of up to six months. 
  • Your driver’s license will be suspended for at least six months. 
  • You will need to complete a DUI school program at your own expense. 
  • Substance abuse evaluation and treatment is required. 
  • You could receive up to a year of probation and up to 50 hours of community service. 

Collateral consequences of a DUI conviction include difficulty passing a background check and obtaining affordable car insurance. 

It’s best to never ride a bike after drinking, but if you do, talk to an attorney to mitigate the consequences of a potential DUI charge. 

Photo of Traffic Accident

When You Should Retain A Bicycle DUI Defense Attorney 

Whether the DUI conviction stems from driving a car or riding a bike, the impact on your life can be terrible. You could be sentenced to jail, heavily fined, and be saddled with a criminal record that affects your ability to obtain and keep a job. If you have a professional license, such as a CDL or medical license, you could lose it. If you were hurt while biking intoxicated, your health insurance could deny coverage for your injuries. 

The good news is a DUI defense attorney can help if you are charged with biking while intoxicated. A DUI defense lawyer knows the laws in Florida and how to defend against this serious charge. Even if you are convicted, your lawyer could negotiate for less severe penalties, potentially getting the charge expunged from your record eventually. 

Always speak to a DUI defense attorney as soon as possible after being charged with a bicycling DUI. You could inadvertently say something to negatively affect your case without a lawyer. Say as little as possible to the police after the arrest and politely ask for a lawyer. 

Contact An Experienced Bicycle DUI Defense Lawyer Now 

Now that you know more about bicycle DUI laws in Florida, you can avoid being charged for a DUI while cycling. But if you do get charged with a DUI while bicycling, you should never attempt to resolve the case on your own. The criminal justice system will fight hard to convict you: jail time, fines, and a permanent criminal record are possibilities. However, Patrick McLain Law has the experience and skills in bicycle DUI cases to obtain the best case result, which could be a case dismissal or a charge reduction. Contact our bicycle DUI defense attorneys immediately at (239) 579-9445 for a free case evaluation.

Category: DUI