Before you order that next beer and hit the road on your bicycle, consider this — in Oregon, a cyclist operating a bike under the influence of intoxicants is in violation of DUI laws. Many drivers are under the assumption that a bicycle isn’t considered a vehicle, as it lacks a motor, but Oregon applies vehicle laws to bicycles. According to ORS 814.400:
“Every person riding a bicycle upon a public way is subject to the provisions applicable to and has the same rights and duties as the driver of any other vehicle concerning operating on highways, vehicle equipment and abandoned vehicles.”
Just as DUI laws vary by state, as does the application of those laws to bicycles and their riders. The consequences of riding a bike while under the influence of drugs or alcohol means the same fines, imprisonment and loss of driver’s license.
Biking Under the Influence in Central Oregon
Both the vacation and brewery culture in Central Oregon increase the importance of educating yourself about the consequences of biking under the influence of intoxicants. The infraction includes alcohol as well as inhalants and controlled substances, such as prescription drugs. A DUII in Bend, Oregon, comes with a $1,000 fine (in addition to cour fees). It becomes part of your personal record and cannot be expunged. Your driver’s license may be suspended, whether or not you have on one. If you don’t have a driver’s license, your eligibility to receive one will be suspended.
Your Options if Charged with Biking Under the Influence
If you are charged with a DUII while riding a bicycle in Central Oregon, you have two options. Your first option — challenge it in court. Your second option — opt for diversion, if you are eligible. If you are eligible for diversion, you admit guilt to the crime and enter a state program that once completed the criminal charges may be dropped.
Keep in mind when considering diversion:
- If your DUI involved a crash where someone other than yourself was physically injured or killed you won’t be eligible for diversion.
- If diversion is terminated by the court or not completed, the cyclist will be convicted of the original DUII charge.
- After completion, the DUII charge will be dropped, but a permanent notation will be made reflecting that you went through a diversion program.
A Bend DUI lawyer can help you challenge the biking under the influence charge in court. Cyclists riding a bike on public streets or on premises open to the public while intoxicated also face additional criminal charges including public intoxication and reckless driving. An experienced DUI lawyer can assist you in tackling all of your criminal charges associated with biking under the influence.
In Oregon, you can get a DUI in a variety of “vehicles” that most would consider unusual. Bicycles, scooters and electric bikes are most typical, but Oregonians have also been busted for a DUI on a riding lawnmower. If you’re heading downtown and will be drinking, consider an alternative to a bike — you can’t get a DUI on a skateboard, roller skates, rollerblades or a horse. DUIs on horseback do happen in other states, but contrary to urban legend, you can’t get a DUI on horseback.
Nelson Law Defends Bicycle DUIs in Central Oregon
Have you been charged with biking under the influence in Central Oregon? Nelson Law specializes in DUI defense and has worked with many clients who have faced similar charges. Often, biking seems like the safer choice rather than getting behind the wheel or a car, but in Oregon it can lead to DUI charges. Contact Nelson Law to set up a free consultation and for move information about diversion for biking under the influence.