In Minnesota, you will not violate any DUI laws by riding a bike under the influence of alcohol or drugs, as long as the bicycle is purely human-powered.
Our state laws only care whether you operate a motorized vehicle while intoxicated. However, as motorized bikes become more popular, bicycle DUIs are on the rise.
Riding a gas or electric-powered bike with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or above could land you behind bars.
In fact, you could face the same severe penalties that you would if you drove your car while intoxicated. This includes fines, driver license suspension, and possible jail time.
Consequences of Driving a Bike While Impaired
Even if your bike is pedal-powered, you can get into trouble if you drink or do drugs before a ride. Drugs and alcohol impair your reflexes and your concentration. You might:
- Have an accident with a pedestrian or another cyclist;
- Get hit by a car, resulting in serious injuries or death; or
- Cause an accident, potentially opening yourself up to a negligence lawsuit.
If you ride a bike powered by an electric or gas motor, the potential consequences become much more serious.
DUI charges carry the threat of jail and hefty fines, even for a first offense. You could face the suspension of your driver license and have to pay a substantial fee to get it reinstated.
Your insurance rates will increase, and your conviction will appear on your permanent record, potentially affecting your career as well as your finances.
Finally, any Minnesota DUI conviction (even on a motorized bike) counts as a prior offense. Should the police arrest you in the future for drinking and driving, your bicycle DUI will qualify you for stiffer penalties, including the potential for felony DUI charges.
What to Do If You Get a DUI on a Bike
If you get a DUI while riding a bike, treat the situation as seriously as you would any other DUI or DWI charge. The police and prosecutor may suggest making the situation go away by offering a plea deal.
In exchange for entering a guilty plea, for example, they may offer to take potential jail time off the table. Although this might sound good to you at the time, you will still face all the other direct and indirect penalties associated with having a DUI conviction.
Before agreeing to a deal or providing a statement to the police, contact a Minnesota DUI lawyer to discuss your charges.
Talk to a Minnesota Bike DUI Lawyer Getting a DUI on a bike may sound harmless, but before you make any decisions about your case, talk to a Minnesota DWI lawyer. At Arechigo & Stokka, we take the time to answer your questions and help you make the right decision for your future.
We fight for the legal rights of our clients, working throughout the process to obtain the best possible outcome in your case. Contact us today to schedule your no-cost consultation.