Can You Get a DUI on a Bike in Flagstaff?
Flagstaff is a bike-friendly city, a great place for family riding, commuting, and we have our fair share of athletes that are here to train. Many of our citizens enjoy the convenience of biking in Flagstaff, from our early morning commuters biking to work then back home in the afternoon, to cyclists heading downtown for dinner and a beer with friends or even heading out to one of Flagstaff’s amazing mountain bike trails on a nice weekend.
Bikes provide a great way to get around, get exercise, and have a good time and it even might seem like a great idea to leave the keys and take the bike after a few too many alcoholic beverages, but read-on and reconsider your options. Can you get a DUI on a bike? What do DUI laws say in Northern Arizona? We’ve got just the answers for you.
DUI Laws Cyclists Need to Know
The DUI Law
According to DrivingLaws.com, “Arizona’s DUI laws prohibit all motorists from operating a motor vehicle:
- with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more, or
- while under the influence of drugs or alcohol if the driver is impaired to the slightest degree.”
Since Arizona is a zero-tolerance state, you can be charged with a DUI even if you are under the legal limit of .08% and operating a motor vehicle. The key phrase here is “motor vehicle”. Are bikes considered motor vehicles?
Drinking and Cycling
Because a standard bike requires a human to pedal it to operate, most bikes aren’t considered motor vehicles. A cyclist would not be charged with a DUI in Flagstaff, Arizona because the law explicitly states “ motor vehicle”. BUT if your bike has a motor and that motor is engaged at the time of being pulled over, it is possible to be charged with a DUI.
While you may not be charged with a DUI on a standard bike, there are other charges you could potentially receive when impaired while operating a bicycle. Charges could include reckless behavior, public intoxication, disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct, and others.
What about a scooter?
You might love grabbing a motorized scooter to go from bar to bar when down in Phoenix for a weekend but is that legal? Could you get in trouble?
According to Arizona’s DUI law, a motorized scooter would be under the law’s umbrella of “motor vehicle” but instead, cities all over the country are taking action and creating city ordinances to reduce any confusion on riding a motorized scooter while under the influence. Scottsdale has a scooter ordinance that is very similar to Arizona’s DUI law to combat the problem of drunk scooter riding in the area. According to Nava Law Firm, PLLC, “You are considered to be driving under the influence if: you are impaired to the slightest degree on alcohol or drugs; your blood-alcohol content is .08 or above or; you have a drug, defined in Arizona Revised Statutes Section 13-3401, or drug metabolite in your body.”
We advise you to think twice before drunk riding a motorized scooter and acknowledge that you could receive serious charges.
The Danger of Riding Drunk
Besides the legal issues raised and the dangers posed to your future opportunities, there are also very real risks to your health and safety. Sharing the road with cars, two ton hunks of metal going 50+ mph, is dangerous enough without adding in the unpredictability that comes with drunk riding. Not only are you risking your safety, but the safety of others. A bike may not seem like it can pose much danger but collisions with pedestrians and cars swerving to get out of a bicyclist’s way will often end poorly.
While it might not be against the law to ride your bike while under the influence, we highly advise against it! Riding a bike while impaired can put you and others in danger. With phone apps and local taxi companies, there are plenty of other options to get around Flagstaff and other parts of Northern Arizona.
Our team of dedicated trial attorneys at Antol & Sherman, PC, have more than 60 years of combined legal experience and a strong track record of providing successful legal counsel. We have been practicing criminal, family and divorce, drug and DUI, and accident law in Flagstaff, Arizona and surrounding northern Arizona cities including Camp Verde, Sedona, Williams, Holbrook, Winslow, Cottonwood, Mayer, Seligman, Kingman, Page, St. Johns and more for over 30 years. Antol & Sherman, PC and their staff of lawyers would love to sit down and discuss your legal needs. Please call us at 928-241-6339, stop in today at Antol & Sherman, PC, 150 N Verde St Suite 102, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 or visit us at flagazlaw.com.