Drunk Cyclists And Bicycle Accidents In Florida
Although bicycles do not pose the same threat in the form of road accidents as motor vehicles, drunk biking may have serious consequences such as causing harm to the driver, property damage, and causing harm to others. If you are riding a bicycle after having taken a drink it is not taken lightly. Although most states treat this issue differently you need to check the laws in Florida for more up-to-date information about bicycle accidents.
DUI laws regarding bicycles
Courts of various states are split about the subject of drunk driving. Many people immediately doubt the amount of harm any bicyclist may cause to other road users due to the relatively harmless nature of a bicycle during a bicycle accident. Although many laws acknowledge the fact the bicyclists are only likely to harm themselves with drunk driving, an injury to the drunk driver may have profound effects on others even the rider’s family members.
Biking under the influence in Florida
Do you think taking a bike to the bar close by is a better alternative than taking a car? Think again. Because you are not riding in a car doesn’t mean you cannot be pulled over or even arrested for drunken driving. Remember, bikes are considered vehicles in Florida. Therefore they cannot be operated by people who have consumed drugs or alcohol before its use.
If someone is riding a bike under the influence he or she may get charged for biking under the influence. Florida laws consider the vehicles powered by the human body or a combination of a motor and human body as a vehicle. For a vehicle to be considered as a bicycle it has to travel under the speed of 20 miles per hour. As bicycles are classified as vehicles they are subject to similar restrictions like those for the different vehicles on the road.
Penalties for biking under the influence in Florida
A bicyclist can ride on his bike in Florida if his blood alcohol content is under 0.10. If he exceeds this limit he is liable to get arrested with biking under the influence. But as the motor vehicle license dispensed by the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) is not issued for people riding a bike, the organization does not provide consent for a test of the BAC. When a biker is arrested with biking under the influence in the state of Florida he or she will face,
- Up to $2,000 fine.
- 6 to 9 months term in jail.
- 50 hours of community service,
- 180 days to 1-year suspension of driving license.
The DUI charges which the bicycle rider riding the bicycle under the influence occurs count toward the total number of DUI convictions he or she has. Therefore depending on whether it is your first time being arrested or sixth you are likely to be facing felony and misdemeanor charges for avoiding the use of a vehicle while drinking alcohol.
Defense of charges of biking under the influence in case of a bicycle accident is different than compared to the defense for other motor vehicles. If you are charged with this crime, make sure that your car accident attorney has experience with the Florida laws apply to your unique situation.
In these kinds of cases, the plaintiff can always be awarded compensation however, there is always the risk that you may get a different outcome to the case. The Rojas Law Group will fight toward getting the client full and fair compensation. But remember, riding a bicycle under the influence is not a good idea. Not even for your safety and this fact alone should deter you from getting involved in a crash. If you do get involved in an accident your car accident attorney will have to establish that alcohol consumption was not the main factor in the occurrence of the accident.
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