Anyone who rides a bicycle needs to be aware of their position with regards to the law. If you are riding your bicycle on any highway or street, you have all rights and are subject to all duties that are applicable to a motor vehicle. This includes a restriction on bicycling under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any combination thereof. The same Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) limit of .08 applies when bicycling.
A BUI is not, however, as damaging in the eyes of the law as a DUI with a motor vehicle. Bicycling under the influence is not, for example, subject to the same penalties as driving under the influence. BUI is subject to a fine of no more than $250 as made clear in section 21200.5 of the Motor Vehicle Code of California.
If you are between the ages of 13 and 21, that’s a different story. If you are a person under the age of 21 but over the age of 13 convicted of bicycling under the influence, your driver’s license will be revoked for a year. If you do not yet have a driver license, the court will order the delay of the issuance of your license for one year.
The most important thing you can do after being cited and/or arrested is immediately go to www.wklawdmv.com and read about how Wallin & Klarich can help you avoid the suspension or revocation of your license and avoid fines. You will need to do your homework quickly in order to help Wallin & Klarich win your case. You have the right to have a DMV hearing to contest the potential suspension or revocation of your license, and, if successful, have the DMV action set aside. You also have the right to be represented by an attorney at that hearing. Wallin & Klarich has been handling DMV hearings throughout Southern California for 30 years.
We strongly suggest you print this document out and keep it somewhere where you can refer to it if you or a loved one finds him or herself cited. Please make sure you forward this to everyone you care about so they know their legal rights. Please remember if you are arrested your first call should be to your lawyers at Wallin & Klarich at 877-466-5245. As a member of the Wallin & Klarich Legal Protection Plan, we are here to help you 24/7.
Related California Vehicle Codes for reference:
21200.5. It is unlawful for any person to ride a bicycle upon a highway while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or any drug, or under the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and any drug. Any person arrested for a violation of this section may request to have a chemical test made of the person’s blood, breath, or urine for the purpose of determining the alcoholic or drug content of that person’s blood pursuant to Section 23612, and, if so requested, the arresting officer shall have the test performed. A conviction of a violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250). Violations of this section are subject to Section 13202.5.
13202. (a) A court may suspend or order that the department revoke in which case the department shall revoke the privilege of any person to operate a motor vehicle upon conviction of any offense related to controlled substances as defined in Division 10 (commencing with Section 11000) of the Health and Safety Code when the use of a motor vehicle was involved in, or incidental to, the commission of the offense.
13202.5. (a) For each conviction of a person for any offense specified in subdivision (d), committed while the person was under the age of 21 years, but 13 years of age or older, the court shall suspend the person’s driving privilege for one year. If the person convicted does not yet have the privilege to drive, the court shall order the department to delay issuing the privilege to drive for one year subsequent to the time the person becomes legally eligible to drive. However, if there is no further conviction for any offense specified in subdivision (d) in a 12-month period after the conviction, the court, upon petition of the person affected, may modify the order imposing the delay of the privilege. For each successive offense, the court shall suspend the person’s driving privilege for those possessing a license or delay the eligibility for those not in possession of a license at the time of their conviction for one additional year.