What are the penalties for cycling under the influence in California?
We all know that one of the main and most commonly heard tips when driving is not to do it under the influence of any substance, be it alcohol, drugs, or both. But what happens when we ride a bicycle? Is it also a crime to do so under those circumstances?
Yes, in the state of California this is also a crime. The Vehicle Code 21200.5 VC establishes that driving a bicycle on a highway, street, road, or sidewalk while the driver is under the influence of any substance is considered a misdemeanor that can be punished with a fine of up to $250. Although a misdemeanor, it does not require that the person spend time in prison, it is still a situation in which you not only put your life at risk but that of the people around you.
Some of the examples that we find in different cases are such as:
– Riding on the sidewalk while intoxicated on the way home from a party or bar after drinking
– Riding a bicycle through different streets of a specific area, after having consumed marijuana
– Not respecting stops or other traffic signs due to one’s intoxicated state
Even though it is considered a misdemeanor, the rider can also receive an infraction for being drunk on public roads. And the matter is even more complicated if the rider is under 21 years old. This situation not only goes on your record but can also interfere with your right to drive a car, which is a situation that nobody wants to go through.
However, this code allows the violating rider to request a toxicological analysis to demonstrate that he is not under the influence of any substance. Of course, if that is the case, then you will be entitled to defend yourself so as to prove otherwise, a process for which you will need an attorney.
At Nourmand Legal we can help you if you find yourself in a situation like this. We will listen to your case and give you the best possible legal advice, always taking into account your own interests and what suits you best. Call us today at (880) 550-9816 and make an appointment with us.