Riding your bike is one of the simple pleasures of life, but what happens when you indulge in this innocent pastime while intoxicated? Is it legal to ride your bike while under the influence? What will happen if you get into an accident? What if the police stop you? These are all important questions, and it is important to understand that Georgia has unique laws that pertain to this subject.
If you have been arrested for cycling under the influence, you should team up with an experienced criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible. The longer you wait, the harder it will be for a legal professional to assist you. If you are not sure about these laws or you simply want to go over your options, you can book a consultation with a criminal defense attorney in Georgia and plan out your next move.
Georgia Classifies Bicycles as Vehicles
The first thing to realize is that Georgia classifies bicycles as vehicles. This means that they follow all the same legal requirements as a car or a truck, and you can probably guess where this is heading. Yes, you can be arrested for riding your bike while intoxicated, because the law in Georgia makes no distinction between driving while intoxicated and biking while intoxicated. According to the law, both involve operating vehicles while under the influence.
The official DUI laws in Georgia apply to any “moving vehicle.” These laws were famously appealed in Jones v State back in 1992, when a man was arrested while riding a bike. He appealed the decision, but the court clarified that bikes are included under the general “umbrella” of intoxication laws in Georgia.
The Penalties for Riding a Bike Under the Influence are Not as Serious
With all that said, someone charged with a DUI after driving under the influence will generally face much more serious penalties for someone who had a few too many before attempting to cycle home. Lawmakers recognize that riding a bike while drunk represents much less of a threat to public safety compared to driving under the influence.
The crime will not go unpunished, but you will probably face a misdemeanor charge at the very most. Of course, your consequences depend on whether you actually harmed someone. For example, crashing into an old lady on your bike may result in more serious legal consequences compared to a drunk driver who was caught in a traffic stop without harming anyone.
Regardless of the extent of your legal consequences, it is always a good idea to hire a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you fight for your rights.
Reach Out to a Qualified Criminal Defense Lawyer Near You
Time is of the essence when you are facing criminal charges, so reach out to Lankford & Moore Law at your earliest convenience. There is no reason to accept unreasonable criminal penalties for cycling while intoxicated, and we can help you mitigate any potential consequences. With a range of effective strategies and considerable experience, Tyler Moore Law is a dependable choice for efficient legal representation.