Charged With Biking While Drunk? Get The Defense You Need
Believe it or not, you can be charged with DUI in Pennsylvania for riding a bicycle while drunk on or alongside a public road. As a criminal defense attorney in State College, Matt McClenahen has represented his share of clients charged with bike DUIs. Bike DUIs are actually quite common in State College and on the Penn State campus. There are simple reasons for this: 1) Penn State students drink a lot, 2) college students rides their bikes everywhere and 3) most people who ride their bikes drunk do not even know they are committing a crime. In fact, they think they are being responsible by not driving.
Potential Consequences Of A DUI Charge
Both the direct and indirect consequences of a DUI are the same whether you are driving a mechanized war beast like a Hummer or the rusty 10-speed you’ve had since middle school. That means that, if you are convicted of a bike DUI or are placed in the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program for a bike DUI, you will lose your driver’s license for a period of time even though you were not driving a motor vehicle. Additionally, you face the same mandatory jail time for a bike DUI as you would face for a conventional motor vehicle DUI.
DUI Penalties Increase Each Time You Are Convicted
To make matters worse, DUI is a “stacking offense,” meaning that the penalties increase each time you are convicted of a subsequent DUI. There have been people who were wise enough to stop driving after one or two DUIs and switched to bicycles as their primary means of transportation. Although wise enough to stop driving, some of these people are alcoholics who just cannot stop drinking. Consequently, they end up with yet another DUI, only this time on a bike. A second DUI offense within 10 years can carry a 90-day mandatory jail sentence, while a third conviction for DUI within 10 years can result in a mandatory state prison sentence, even if that third DUI was on a bike.