BUI in Arizona – Biking Under the Influence
Mesa’s Reliable DUI Defense Attorneys Explain If You Can Get a DUI in Other Modes of Transportation
Arizona DUI Laws: Can You Get a DUI on a Bike?
The Arizona laws against driving against the influence prohibit “driving . . . a vehicle” under the influence. A vehicle is defined by Arizona law as “a device in, on or by which a person or property is or may be transported or drawn on a public highway, excluding devices moved by human power.” This suggests that riding a traditional bicycle under the influence couldn’t result in a DUI, but riding a motorized bicycle could.Arizona law does send mixed signals about biking under the influence. It states that bicyclists are “subject to all of the penalties applicable to the driver of a vehicle,” but also that “a person who operates a motor vehicle in this state gives consent.” Consent refers to the legal concept of implied consent, basically that drivers, simply by driving, give their consent to be pulled over to prove their sobriety when a police officer has reasonable suspicion of intoxication. In Arizona, if you refuse to prove your sobriety to a police officer when pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence, you can automatically lose your driver’s license for one year through an administrative procedure at the DMV. This obviously can’t apply to bicycles because there are no licenses to ride a bicycle.
Although Arizona laws are unclear as to whether you can get a DUI on a bicycle, no one in Arizona has ever been prosecuted for such a crime. However, you can still be charged with less serious offenses such as public intoxication if you are arrested for riding a bicycle under the influence in Arizona. State laws vary- for example, California will charge an intoxicated biker with a DUI- so check the laws before drunk biking out of state, or call a cab.
Bird, Lyft, and Other Rental Scooters
You have probably seen scooters on the sidewalks of Old Town Scottsdale and other nightlife destinations. You may have even almost hit someone riding them, as the riders often use sidewalks as opposed to bike lanes and can seem to come out of nowhere. They are an alternative to calling a cab or rideshare, and will save you a few bucks if you have a fairly short distance to travel. If you have ever ridden one of these scooters, you know you only use your foot once or twice to initially propel the scooter, and a motor takes care of the rest. Therefore, you can get a DUI for riding a scooter under the influence. Scottsdale even has a specific ordinance to address this issue. Ordinance No. 4372 makes it illegal to ride a scooter in Scottsdale with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or more.
Can You Get a DUI on a Horse?
True Arizona cowboys may be left wondering whether they can get a DUI for riding a horse while intoxicated, as a horse isn’t powered by a motor or by human effort. No one has ever been arrested for DUI on a horse in Arizona. However, drunk horseback riders have been charged with DUIs in California and Pennsylvania.
Other Considerations when Operating Under the Influence in Arizona
Just because you can’t theoretically get a DUI in Arizona for riding a bike or horse while intoxicated doesn’t mean you’re safe with every type of alternative transportation. Arrests have occurred in other states for riding a motorized lawnmower while intoxicated, and Arizona law would support such an arrest as well. You may have seen the meme of the college student who got a DUI and started riding a child’s Jeep toy to class. Arizona law would also support a DUI arrest for riding one of these while intoxicated.
Contact an Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been arrested for a DUI, you need attorney representation. Arizona has strict DUI laws that come with penalties like mandatory jail time, license suspension, fines, and required use of an interlock. Besides that, a DUI on your record can make your life more difficult and make it harder to find a job. Our experienced Arizona DUI attorneys will fight for your rights to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. Even better, the initial consultation is free, and we offer affordable retainers and monthly payments. Call to schedule your free consultation today.
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