Riding a bike is an excellent alternative to motorized vehicles, especially if you want to enjoy time outdoors and get a little exercise. But did you know you can get a DUI on a bike in Maryland?
It’s obvious that a bicycle isn’t a car, but even when you’re on a bike, you are still bound by Maryland’s drinking and driving laws. Bicycles, ATVs (all-terrain vehicles), dirt bikes, motorized scooters, and e-bikes are all subject to Maryland motor vehicle laws.
If you are charged with biking under the influence, you face penalties similar to those enforced on drivers of motor vehicles. We will discuss DUIs in Maryland, the laws, and the penalties you face when charged with a DUI on a bicycle.
DUI Laws in Maryland
Before getting into the details of biking under the influence, it’s essential to know the basic laws of a DUI and DWI in Maryland. Driving or biking while impaired can lead to your arrest, fines, jail time, and other consequences.
There are two kinds of impaired driving offenses in Maryland.
- DUI (Driving Under the Influence) — If you have a BAC of .08 or higher, you are considered “under the influence per se,” which means that you are guilty of driving under the influence even without other evidence.
- DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) — The lesser of the two offenses is a DWI, and you can be charged with a DWI if your BAC (blood alcohol concentration) is .07.
You can get a DUI/DWI charge by operating a vehicle or a bicycle while you’re impaired by alcohol or drugs, regardless of whether it’s legal. It’s important to remember that even if your BAC is under the legal limit, you can still be charged with a DWI or DUI.
If you are under 21, your license automatically carries an “Under 21 Alcohol Restriction,” or if you have prior impaired driving offenses, your license may carry an alcohol restriction. These restrictions mean that if you are operating a vehicle or bicycle with any level of alcohol in your system, you can be arrested and charged with DUI.
Biking While Impaired in Maryland
While biking under the influence of alcohol or drugs may not seem like a serious offense, it can lead to serious injury to yourself or others. Impaired biking can result in the following:
- Causing bodily harm by hitting a pedestrian
- Property damage if you hit a parked car
- Personal injury if you hit something or get hit by something
- Causing other bikers or drivers to get into an accident.
Legal Penalties for a DWI/DUI on a Bike in Maryland
Even when riding a bicycle, a DUI/DWI charge is taken very seriously, so contacting a DUI attorney for assistance is essential. The penalties for a DUI and DWI charge in Maryland are:
- DWI — Up to two months in jail and up to $500 in fines
- DUI — Up to a year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. You could also lose your license for up to six months and be required to use an ignition interlock device for six months.
Other Consequences of a DUI/DWI in Maryland
Along with the legal penalties for a DUI/DWI, you may also face several other consequences. For example, you risk a six-month license revocation in the case of a DUI and a six-month license suspension from a DWI charge.
A DUI/DWI charge also takes up a considerable amount of time, even if you don’t face jail time. Going to court to fight your charges can take a significant amount of time and money. Not only are you spending money on fighting charges, but you are also missing work to appear at your hearing and to attend 12 hours of an alcohol education program.
You may also experience the following:
- Issues with your employer or finding new employment
- Increased auto and/or life insurance premiums
- Losing security clearance
- Losing professional licenses
- Damaging your reputation
- Having to pay for transportation if you lose your license
Let Jeremy Widder Law Help When You’re Facing DUI Charges
Because of the potential consequences you face for biking while under the influence, it’s best to avoid the charges altogether. Instead, call a friend or ride-share service to get home safely if you drink too much. If you cannot fit your bike in the car, ensure it is secured and return for it the next day. And if you are facing a DUI on a bike in Maryland, enlisting the services of an experienced DUI attorney should be your first step.
At Jeremy Widder Law, we have years of trial experience focusing on major and minor criminal offenses. We will listen to your story and help you determine your preferred outcome, and then work with you every step of the way to help you solve your legal issues.
Sound like we’re a fit? Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.