Everyone knows that driving after drinking or doing drugs is illegal, but many people are shocked to learn that cycling under the influence can also have legal consequences. Here’s everything you need to know about cycling while under the influence in New York.
Is It Actually Illegal to Ride a Bike While Intoxicated?
The state of New York will probably not charge you for driving while intoxicated if you are riding a bicycle while you are drunk because the New York laws are specifically for motor vehicles. Therefore, people only get driving while intoxicated charges if they are operating a bike that has had a motor installed on it which is not very commonly. Most foot powered bicycles, scooters, and skateboards do not meet the qualifications for a DWI charge. However, this does not mean that there are no legal consequences to biking while intoxicated. You can be taken into protective custody if a police officer sees that you are extremely impaired or incapacitated. You may end up facing some sort of reckless endangerment charge or public intoxication charge. It is not illegal to be drunk in public, but public intoxication because of drugs is a crime if you are being annoying or if you pose a danger to yourself, others, or property. In order to be convicted of reckless endangerment, a prosecutor would have to show that your actions posed a substantial threat to another person’s safety.
Do You Face Any Penalties for Biking While Intoxicated?
The potential possibilities for riding a bike while under the influence of drugs or alcohol will depend on the individual circumstances and the possible crimes that you are charged with. If you were just taken into protective custody and not charged with any crime, you will be released after showing that you are no longer dangerous or after 48 hours is up. Being charged with public intoxication can result to up to $250 in fines and 15 days in jail if a person is convicted of this violation. A reckless endangerment charge may occur if it is believed that you were engaging in an action, such as driving a bike while drunk through a crowd, that poses a substantial risk of severe injury. Being convicted of reckless endangerment can result in up to one year in jail, fines, community service, and three years of probation.
How Can We Help You?
If you are facing a legal charge after riding your bicycle while under the influence Raiser & Kenniff may be able to assist you. The laws surrounding these issues are quite specific, so the prosecutor will be required to provide extensive proof. If you are charged with reckless endangerment, your lawyer may be able to show that your actions could not have seriously injured someone or that your actions did not actually pose a significant risk to public safety. Most defenses against a public intoxication law will rely on proving that you were not using drugs or that you were not actually posing a danger or annoying anyone. Depending on the individual circumstances of your situation, our law firm may be able to prove your innocence or ensure that your sentence is lightened.
Raiser & Kennif is a talented firm with experienced criminal lawyers. If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges after riding a bicycle while intoxicated, we may be able to assist you. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you or to schedule a risk-free consultation.