We get this question quite a bit. Can you get arrested for a DUI on a bicycle? The answer is a resounding yes. In fact, recently, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ruled that you can also get your driver’s license suspended if you are arrested for a DUI on a bike.
Commonwealth Court ruled today, May 28, 2014, that bicyclists who are stopped are subject to the same Implied Consent Law as drivers. In Pennsylvania, implied consent means that you must submit to a sobriety test or have your driver’s license automatically suspended. Therefore, if you are a bike-rider in PA, you, too, must submit to a sobriety test or you will automatically lose your driving privileges.
This decision came after a case in Butler County in which a man was stopped on his bike after riding through a red light. Police suspected the bicyclist to be under the influence as he was unsteady on his feet and his speech was slurred. Police stated that the man refused to submit to a field sobriety test as well as a blood test.
The man was charged with a DUI but ended up pleading no contest to disorderly conduct. He received a year of probation. However, because he refused sobriety testing, he license still ended up getting suspended. The man attempted to appeal his license suspension, but was unsuccessful.
In 2004, Pennsylvania changed the wording of its DUI laws to omit the word “motor” in front of “vehicle.” Therefore, an operator of any type of vehicle, including a bicycle, is subject to sobriety testing.
In his decision Senior Judge James Gardner Colins wrote, “Deletion of the word ‘motor’ prior to the word ‘vehicle’ clearly shows that the Legislature intended to extend the Implied Consent Law to apply to the operators of vehicles… including bicycles, in recognition of the fact that the drunken operator of a bicycle poses danger to himself and to others on the roads.”
So, yes, you can still get arrested for a DUI and lose your license on a bicycle.