In Florida, the “driver” of a “vehicle” who drives with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or more or while his/her normal faculties are impaired may be guilty of driving under the influence (also referred to as DUI, DWI or drunk driving). Does the Florida DUI law also include a person who is driving a bicycle while intoxicated? Yes, it does.
In a recent Florida criminal case, a defendant was found guilty of DUI after he was arrested for driving his bicycle while under the influence of alcohol. It was his third DUI conviction, and the prior DUI conviction occurred less than 10 years earlier. Under Florida law, that third conviction within ten years meant a driver’s license suspension of at least 10 years.
The defendant plead no contest to the DUI charge, but his criminal defense lawyer appealed the 10 year driver’s license suspension arguing that it did not apply to people driving a bicycle. The Florida court disagreed. The term “driver” referenced in the Florida DUI laws means any person who drives or is in actual physical control of a vehicle on the road. “Vehicle” is broadly defined as any device by which a person may be transported upon the road. Based on these broad definitions, a person driving a bicycle would fall within the application of the Florida DUI laws.
As a result, if you have been drinking and are not in a position to legally drive a motor vehicle, then you are not in a position to legally drive a bicycle either.