Beautiful bridges, tasty brews, and crowds of bikes. As summer hits and the sun comes out, it’s easy to see why bicycling to your favorite watering hole is a popular Portland pastime. But many bikers don’t know that in Oregon, laws around operating a vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants apply to bicycles as well.Pedaling under the influence can lead to community service, serious fines, and even jail time in Oregon. Not to mention the incredible risk to the safety of cyclists and everyone else who shares the road.
Pedaling under the influence is a serious crime and it is important to raise public awareness as the popularity of bicycling increases in Portland.
The Dangers of Cycling Under the Influence
While many might argue that cycling under the influence is a safe alternative to driving a car, the reality is that operating a bicycle under the influence of drugs or alcohol poses a serious threat to you and others on the road.
The Federal Highway Administration claims that 1 in 4 cyclists who die on the road had a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of at least .08%. Drinking and biking greatly increases your chances of injury and death. With slowed reaction times and decreased awareness, it is easy to cause a collision or fail to avoid a dangerous obstacle on the road.
Impaired biking can also cause injury to others on the road. A driver taking evasive action to avoid a drunken cyclist can easily end up crashing into a pedestrian or another vehicle.
The bottom line is that riding a bike while under the influence of drugs and alcohol is unsafe and reckless.
Is Pedaling Under the Influence the Same As a DUII?
Yes. When you ride a bike under the influence of drugs and alcohol you can face the same penalties as if you were driving a car. You can suffer heavy fines, suspension of your driver’s license,and even imprisonment.
Oregon DUII law specifies that operating a vehicle while impaired by the consumption of alcohol, drugs, and other intoxicants is illegal and that bicycling is considered “operating a vehicle.”
Receiving a DUII for bicycling also counts towards the “three strikes” law. Being convicted of three DUIIs can lead to permanent license suspension and possible felony charges.
Pedaling under the influence is a very serious offense and should not be taken lightly.
What to Do If Pulled Over While Biking Under the Influence
If you are pulled over on a bicycle and suspected of drinking, you should treat it similarly to being pulled over in a car.
Provide the officer with your identification and simply state:
“I invoke my right to remain silent, I invoke my right to have an attorney present, and I will not answer any more questions or take any tests.”
Read my post on What To Say To an Officer When Stopped for a DUII to learn more about what you should do in such a situation.
If you are ever pulled over while bicycling or driving a car, you immediately need to get a lawyer on your side to fight for your rights.
Adam Greenman is an experienced Portland DUII lawyer and is dedicated to his clients. Adam cares about spending the time examining the smallest details that can mean the difference between guilty and not guilty.
If you ever have questions or find yourself in a situation with the police, don’t hesitate to call Adam Greenman – Attorney at Law for a free, no obligation consultation.