Doping on a Bike Not Limited to Lance Armstrong

Don’t drink and drive. We’ve all heard and that slogan and most people abide by it. However, it always seems like we can do less harm on a bicycle. Why not stop in and have a few beers at the pub during our leisurely Saturday bike ride? No harm, no foul, right? Wrong.

The Arizona DUI statute makes it unlawful for a person to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Some argue that because the definition of vehicle excludes a device moved by human power, it is not illegal to operate a bicycle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, in reality, it is possible to receive a DUI while operating a bicycle. A good attorney may be able to persuade a judge to drop the charges.

Regardless of legality, operating abicycle under the influence can be dangerous to your health. In addition to the harm you may cause yourself, you may be liable for injuries you cause to others if you drink or drug and bike. Just how dangerous is it? According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 28 percent of all cyclists killed in 2009 had an elevated blood alcohol level and 24 percent had a BAC of .08 (the legal definition of drunk driving in a vehicle) or higher.

The effects of alcohol and drugs on the brain are well documented and don’t change because you are operating a bike instead of a car. The opposite is true since a bicyclist does not have the protection a vehicle affords. A bicyclist’s risk of a crash begins to increase significantly at .05 BAC and climbs quickly after about .08. Even having that pint or two of beer during a leisurely ride can increase the odds of a crash.

Biking under the influence can be extremely dangerous for yourself and others, so it’s best not to imbibe on a bike. If you are injured while bike riding, be sure to obtain a knowledgeable Tucson bike accident lawyer.

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