While most people are aware of the consequences of driving under the influence, many are unsure about the laws surrounding biking under the influence. In this blog post, we'll answer the question, "Can you get a DUI on a bicycle in Virginia?" and provide you with useful tips to avoid getting into trouble.
The Definition of a DUI
The Virginia Code defines a DUI as operating a motor vehicle, engine, or train while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Therefore, a bicycle is not considered a vehicle under Virginia law.
Penalties for a Bicycle DUI in Virginia
Although you can avoid facing DUI penalties if you are intoxicated while riding a bike, it is still possible to face other charges.
In Virginia, reckless biking is typically considered a traffic offense. Reckless biking is defined as operating a bicycle in a manner that endangers the life, limb, or property of others. The penalties for reckless biking can vary depending on the circumstances and the jurisdiction, but they generally involve fines.
Tips to Avoid a Bicycle DUI in Virginia
Here are some tips to help you avoid getting a DUI on a bicycle in Virginia:
- Don't drink and bike: The best way to avoid a bicycle DUI is to not drink and bike. If you plan on drinking, make sure you have a designated driver or use public transportation.
- Know your limits: If you do decide to bike after drinking, make sure you know your limits. Don't drink too much, and make sure you can still ride your bike safely.
- Wear reflective clothing: If you plan on biking at night, make sure you wear reflective clothing. This will make it easier for drivers to see you and avoid accidents.
- Follow traffic laws: Just like drivers, bicyclists are required to follow traffic laws. Make sure you stop at stop signs and red lights, and use hand signals to indicate your turns.
If you do find yourself in legal trouble in Virginia, contact Tillotson & Martin, LLC for expert legal representation.