Biking to the bar seems like a safe alternative to driving – especially for a college student who lives nearby. In reality, most people recognize the dangers of drunk biking for riders and pedestrians, and more states classify bicycles as vehicles to push the same penalties for DUI on intoxicated bikers.
In Pennsylvania, a bicycle is considered a vehicle and a person who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol cannot operate any vehicle. If they are caught driving, or biking, under the influence, they can be charged with a DUI.
The consequences for a DUI on a bicycle are just as severe as driving under the influence; penalties include fees, possible jail time and a criminal record that impacts the rest of your future. It seems extreme, but drunk bikers are risking the safety of themselves and those around them.
Risky practice for college students
In 2013, a man was charged with a DUI after biking drunk in downtown State College. The man had a BAC of .164 – twice the legal limit. Although he did not know the law, the man was later convicted of bicycling under the influence.
Many college students believe riding a bike intoxicated is harmless. However, imagine the other consequences to your actions; if you were seriously injured, your parents and friends would be heartbroken.
It’s just better to consider other forms of transportation before hopping on the bike. With the growth of rideshare apps such as Uber or Lyft, there are plenty of options to get home without a car or bicycle.