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Drinking & Bicycling: A Criminal Offense

Southern Californians enjoy beautiful weather year-round, especially when they live near Orange County's beach cities. Considering the breathtaking coastline along Laguna, Newport, and Huntington Beaches, it is no wonder why locals take to their bikes to enjoy a day of relaxation or exercise.

Everybody knows that they can get arrested for DUI when they drive a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. What many people do not know is that riding a bicycle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is also a criminal offense.

Under Section 21200.5 of the Vehicle Code, it is against California law to ride a bicycle upon a roadway while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or any combination thereof.

While a conviction under this section is punishable by a maximum $250 fine and no jail time, it does involve a misdemeanor conviction, which would show up on one's criminal record. If you're over 13, but under 21 and you have a driver's license, it can be suspended for a year.

It may seem unusual for someone to drink and ride their bicycle, but usually well-intentioned people choose a bicycle over driving, thinking they can escape a DUI. Cycling under the influence (CUI) happens often enough that California has enacted laws against it.

Whether someone was drinking at home with their friends and decided to ride their bike to the liquor store, or if someone was riding around Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) or anywhere else and had a few drinks at a local restaurant, and rode their bicycle home, both scenarios can result in an arrest, despite the fact that CUI is seemingly safer than DUI.

If you have been arrested for cycling under the influence, we urge you to contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. for help. During a free case evaluation, we will explain which defense strategies we would use to fight your charges!