Florida Bicycling Under The Influence
When I was a kid I remember the entertainment we would have when somebody would ride a random vehicle out of the bar. Sometimes it would be a lawnmower other times it would be a bike. Not many things in the world are more amusing then watching someone who is hammered try to pedal home on a bicycle. I do not know for sure but in the Midwest I always assumed it was legal. As a former prosecutor and DUI defense attorney I can assure you this is not the case in Florida. Every person propelling a vehicle by human power has all of the rights and all of the duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle. A person is guilty of the offense of driving under the influence and is subject to punishment if the person is driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle within this state while impaired. The term "driver" referenced in the Florida DUI laws means any person who drives or is in actual physical control of a vehicle on a highway or who is exercising control of a vehicle or steering a vehicle being towed by a motor vehicle. Vehicle is every device, in, upon, or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway. Based on these broad definitions, a person driving a bicycle would fall within the application of the Florida DUI laws.
Implied consent does not apply to Bike DUI cases. So the administrative suspension for refusal is not applicable. The criminal license suspension is split with courts ruling both ways. Some of the conditions that can be expected are a $500 fine, 50 hours of community service, a dui class, a victims class, at least 6 months of probation, random drug and alcohol screening, cost of prosecution and cost of investigation. These cases do happen but are not common. I remember one or two in the jurisdiction I was a DUI prosecutor for a year and a half. We would typically negotiate for a resolution because it was not the type of case that we wanted to take to trial. I do remember a bicycle dui case that did go to trial and the rider was convicted after turning down a disorderly conduct offer. The real question is not about a bicycle DUI but can you get a roller skate DUI? These cases are serious for the accused and usually occur because the biker is so impaired that they become a safety hazard. I think that disorderly conduct and disorderly intoxication could adequately regulate impaired bike riders.