Many people try to defy driving under the influence (DUI) laws by riding a bicycle to return home after consuming alcohol to save themselves from extra expenses. What they do not know is that this is also a violation of the law: cycling under the influence (CUI).
A CUI is classified as a misdemeanor, which, compared to a DUI, carries no jail time and is only applicable if the rider is on a public road. You are also not required to submit to a chemical field sobriety test. Interestingly, California law does not have a set blood alcohol level to define whether the subject is intoxicated while riding a bicycle. So this is where the situation gets complicated. The officer can arrest you for simply assuming you are drunk, but there are several defenses to remove these charges:
- You lost control of the bicycle, made sharp turns or suffered a fall, giving the impression that you were under the influence
- Your appearance and/or physical state weakened by fatigue raised suspicions in an agent
- You consumed small amounts of alcohol without reaching a state of intoxication
- You were not traveling on a public road
The penalty is a fine of up to $250. Now, it is not as simple as paying the fine and moving on with your life. Keep in mind that a CUI is different than a traffic violation like ignoring a stop sign. Therefore, you should take the matter seriously.
While it is true that it is less severe than a DUI, the consequences are permanent. You will lose job opportunities as these charges are reflected in your criminal record. You may even face additional charges of public intoxication – the act of being excessively intoxicated without being aware of your surroundings and posing a threat to the safety of others.
Our experts are ready to fight for the best possible outcome for your CUI case. Request a free consultation today in California.