Can You Get a DUI on a Bike?

Yes, you absolutely can get charged with a DUI on a bike in North Carolina if you are caught with a BAC level above the legal limit on public roads. This may sound surprising, but you should not ignore the potential penalties if your case gets to court and you are convicted.

In this article, we will detail everything you need to know about this legal issue, and why you must consult with an experienced Asheville DUI lawyer as soon as possible after being charged.

How Can You Get a DUI on a Bike in North Carolina?

According to North Carolina General Statutes 20-4.01, the definition of a vehicle includes not just cars and trucks, but also things like bicycles, lawn mowers, golf carts, and quad bikes – essentially anything subject to the state’s motor vehicle laws.

Also, our state has a very wide definition for the term of being in control of a vehicle. You may have heard of DUI for sleeping in a car after going out for drinks. Thus, it must come as no surprise that police officers will charge you with driving while impaired if your vehicle is a simple bicycle.

Blood Alcohol Concentration Limit

North Carolina’s legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for driving is 0.08%. This same limit applies when riding a bike. If a police officer pulls you over on a bicycle  and suspects you are impaired, they can request you take a breathalyzer test to check your BAC. Refusing to take the test will result in an automatic 1-year license suspension.

Field Sobriety Tests

Police officers can also conduct field sobriety tests, like walking in a straight line or standing on one leg, to determine if your ability to operate the quad bike safely seems impaired. Failing these tests, in addition to other signs of intoxication like slurred speech or the smell of alcohol, can lead to a DUI arrest.

Open Container Violations

In some cases, simply having an open alcoholic beverage container in your possession while driving a bike can warrant DUI charges, even if you haven’t necessarily been observed driving recklessly. Open container laws prohibit driving with any open containers of alcohol in the vehicle. An open container gives police reasonable suspicion that you may have been drinking and driving.

With all these factors at play, the odds of facing DUI charges for drinking and driving a bike in North Carolina are high. The bottom line? Don’t drink and drive any vehicle, including bikes – it’s illegal and puts you at  risk of severe penalties if you are charged with DUI on a bike.

in North Carolina you can get a DUI even while riding a bicycle

Penalties for DUI on a Bike in North Carolina

In North Carolina, driving under the influence (DUI) on any vehicle  can lead to legal punishment. Let us examine in detail the various types of penalties you may face in such situations.

Legal Penalties

If convicted of DUI on a bike in NC, you face similar penalties to a DUI in a car. This includes license suspension, fines, and even jail time for repeat or aggravated offenses. For a first offense, you’ll likely get a fine of $200-$500, have your license suspended for 30 days, and possibly serve 24 hours of community service.

Criminal Record for DUI

As a result of a conviction, you will have a criminal record and the offense will show up on background check. There will not be any clear specifications that you were convicted of DUI on a bike, simply that you were guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol.

That may bar you from getting various jobs, good housing and even financial support for education. Moreover, unlike other types of criminal offenses, you cannot request the expungement of a DUI conviction.

Reach Out To An Experienced Asheville DUI Lawyer

If you’ve been charged with a DUI on a bike in North Carolina, the smartest move you can make is to contact an experienced DUI attorney right away. At Asheville DUI Guy, our lawyers have dedicated their careers to defending people just like you against DUI charges.

We understand how stressful and frightening this situation can be, but rest assured—we are here to help. Our firm has developed key relationships within the local legal community over decades of practice. We understand the prosecutors, judges and court procedures in the Asheville area.

This “home court advantage” helps us to anticipate the other side’s strategies, navigate the system efficiently, and leverage relationships to get the best resolution for your case. Don’t go it alone—call Asheville DUI Guy today at 828-759-5556 for a free consultation.

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