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Have too much to drink? Don't ride your bike back to campus

Let's face it; drinking is part of the college life. Of course, it would be better if every student waited until he or she was of legal age and did not drink and drive, but in many cases, that just isn't going to happen.

Many students lose their driver's licenses because they go out, have a few drinks and then get behind the wheel of a car. To combat this, some students will use alternative methods of transportation, but not all of those alternatives will prevent an arrest for DUI.

DUI on a bicycle?

Did you know that the state of Georgia considers your bicycle a vehicle? You may think that it doesn't take much to make the leap that a bicycle is a vehicle since it transports you from one place to another, but you may not consider the implications of this definition when it comes to drunk driving. Since the state considers your bike a vehicle, you could get arrested for DUI while riding it after a few drinks.

You may think that's counterintuitive since you aren't getting behind the wheel of a 4,000-pound death machine. Instead, you decided to ride your bike in order to be responsible. Unfortunately, the law does not necessarily see it that way. If you think about it, neither will you. You could still cause an accident and hurt yourself or someone else while drunk biking.

Your reaction times are still compromising, you still don't react as quickly, and you still aren't as steady on your feet, among other things. You could fall into the street, hit a pedestrian or wander into traffic while on your bicycle if you have been drinking. This is the logic behind including a bicycle in the definition of a vehicle, especially when it comes to drunk driving.

Does this mean you will face an arrest for DUI?

It is possible that, if an officer observes you weaving on your bicycle or displaying some sort of behavior that arouses suspicions of intoxication, you could find yourself being asked to perform field sobriety tests. If you participate in these tests, which you are not legally obligated to do, you could end up under arrest for DUI on a bike.

Does that mean that you will have a DUI conviction on your record? No. You reserve the right to challenge the charges, which more than likely would not have the same impact as a DUI in a motorized vehicle, but it may still affect your record and your life. The University of Georgia may hold it against you, and you could end up suspended or even expelled, depending on the circumstances. The effects on your life would more than likely not be worth taking the risk.

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Law Offices of Adam M. Cain LLC
The Bottle Works
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Athens, GA 30601

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