DUI in Recreational Sports? Drinking on Wheels and the Law

Mon, Oct 22, 2012

Criminal Law, DUI

Even people who have never gotten a driving under the influence (DUI) charge in their life know that the consequences can be detrimental. DUI convictions can lead to jail time, community service, loss of license and serious fines. Most people think that they know exactly what it entails, but they may be surprised to find out that a person doesn’t even have to be in a car to be arrested for the crime. Certain recreational activities can lead to a DUI, and knowing these nuances to the rules can seriously save people a good amount of heartache.

DUI on Bicycle
There are thousands of bar patrons who choose to use a designated driver every weekend, but not everyone is lucky enough to have such a great friend. This leads some people to ride their bicycles in hopes of being responsible and not chancing the lives of other motorists. Unfortunately, many areas have laws that consider operating even a bicycle while impaired as bad as operating a motor vehicle.

In 2009, in fact, two unrelated bicyclists in Tampa Bay were arrested in the same day for DUI on bicycles. Many states consider it a DUI if a person is impaired while operating any propelled vehicle; bicycles included. People charged with these offenses need a defense lawyer since the same technicalities that can have a DUI involving a motor vehicle dropped or reduced apply to bicyclists as well. For instance, if you are caught drinking and biking on the North Carolina Greenbelt trail, you may need the best dui lawyer Charlotte NC has to offer.

DUI on Horse
While horses don’t technically have ‘wheels’, it is still worth mentioning that a person can get a DUI while enjoying recreational riding. Two men were actually arrested in Georgia for riding horses with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of over .08 percent, the legal limit. Another woman in Alabama was also arrested for the same crime, and strangely, it was reported that she rammed a police car with the horse. A solid defense really helped the two men in Georgia, however, as they were released after it was argued that riding a horse did not constitute operation of a motor vehicle. It’s important to remember, however, that laws will vary between states.

DUI on a Tricycle?
It would seem as if anyone riding a tricycle would be too young to actually drink alcohol, but as it turns out, there is quite a large group of adults who enjoy recreational tricycle riding. Unfortunately for those who like to drunkenly have fun on these funny three-wheeled vehicles, many areas recognize them as propelled vehicles that fall under DUI laws.

An Oregon man learned the tricycle rules of the road rather abruptly in 2008 when he was pulled over for driving under the influence on one of these three-wheeled vehicles. It turns out that he ran a stop sign and then rode down the wrong side of the road before being pulled over. Arresting a person for driving such a vehicle while intoxicated may seem as foolish as riding the contraption in the first place, but the law is the law. Anyone who decides to operate a tricycle while intoxicated better know either their state laws well or have a good attorney in the wings.

Driving under the influence is not a laughing matter; unless it occurs on a horse, bicycle or tricycle. Of course, it’s only then a laughing matter to the people who weren’t enjoying these recreational activities at the time. DUI laws between states can be extremely complex while remaining vague at the same time. This means it is best not to operate any type of propelled vehicle while intoxicated, but once a person has been arrested for such a crime, they should seek a professional attorney. People have had charges dropped after such laughable indictments, but this requires a good knowledge of the law.

Ann Bailey is a recreational bike rider and offers this advice to all outdoor wheel enthusiasts. Though it’s easy to avoid getting arrested by not getting on a bike after drinking, the Powers McCartan Law Firm is available to help if you do find yourself in the market for a best dui lawyer Charlotte NC.



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