Yes, you read that correctly. Here in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, police can stop you for DUI while on a bike, and the penalties can be just as severe as if you were driving a car.
Many students at Penn State, Lock Haven University and Bucknell University may think they are making the responsible choice after having a few too many drinks at a campus bar or party when choosing to bike home instead of drive. This also applies to people who have a suspended driver’s license after a DUI conviction.
Your bike is a vehicle
According to Pennsylvania law, your bicycle is a vehicle, just like a car, truck, motorcycle or moped. That means if you are making your way home from a night of drinking and a police officer sees you weave into traffic, fall off your bike or run a traffic light, he or she may pull you over.
Just like any other DUI stop, the police officer may ask you to take a field sobriety test or a breath test. You have the right to decline these tests. If the officer arrests you and brings you in, you will have to submit to a breath test, or you could face a year-long license suspension.
You can fight the charge just like any other DUI charge
As soon as possible after an arrest, you should ask to speak with a criminal defense attorney. Just like any DUI or criminal case, your attorney will investigate the details surrounding your arrest and determine the strength of evidence police have against you.
While it may seem funny to think about “biking under the influence,” the charge is anything but. A conviction could mean serious consequences, both in a legal sense and to your academic and future career.