Felony drunk driving charges for a motorcycle rider who allegedly crashed into a bicycle just after midnight on March 20th, according to 10news.com. The accident happened at the 2000 block of 31st Street in San Diego; however, the motorcycle driver was arrested at his home after leaving his passenger at the scene.
The bicycle rider suffered a broken pelvis and was taken to an area hospital. It is alleged that the bicyclist was also drinking prior to the accident and rode his bike into the path of the motorcycle.
In California, it is a misdemeanor to bicycle or cycle under the influence, CUI. Vehicle Code Section 21200.5 states, “It is unlawful for any person to ride a bicycle upon a highway while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or any drug, or under the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and any drug. Any person arrested for a violation of this section may request to have a chemical test made of the person’s blood, breath, or urine for the purpose of determining the alcoholic or drug content of that person’s blood pursuant to Section 23612, and, if so requested, the arresting officer shall have the test performed.”
In order for this code section to apply, the bike must be non-motorized. If it is powered by a motor it will be deemed a vehicle, and the standard DUI vehicle code sections would apply.
The .08% blood alcohol content (BAC) presumption of a standard DUI is not required with CUI. This means that someone can be charged with this offense with a minimal amount of alcohol in their system. Typically, DUI defense lawyers fight low BAC charges because the prosecutor often has a hard time proving the case, thus resulting in a dismissal.
The maximum penalty for a drunk biking charge is a $250 fine. This is much less severe than a standard DUI.
If you or someone you know has been charged with biking or cycling under the influence, we can help. We offer free, confidential consultations so you can learn about your rights and your legal options at no charge. Call The Law Offices of Susan L. Hartman for help, at 619-260-1122, or use the “Contact Us” form on this page.