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In the picturesque state of Colorado, known for its stunning landscapes and outdoor recreational activities, many residents and visitors enjoy the freedom of cycling. However, it’s crucial to understand that even while pedaling a bicycle, you can find yourself on the wrong side of the law if you’ve had a few too many drinks.

Understanding the law related to riding a bike after drinking is imperative. If you are arrested for this, knowing your legal options is essential. At the Law Offices of Stephen J. Pisani, we offer experienced legal services to help you if you are in this situation.

Learn more about the Colorado DUI law related to riding a bike after drinking and how our law firm can help if you are arrested.

Understanding Colorado DUI Laws

Before delving into the specifics of biking under the influence in Colorado, it’s essential to have a solid grasp of the state’s DUI laws. DUI (Driving Under the Influence) laws in Colorado are defined in CRS 42-4-1301. This statute prohibits vehicle operation while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or a combination thereof.

Defining a “Vehicle” in Colorado DUI Law

One key aspect of Colorado DUI law is defining a “vehicle.” Many assume that a bicycle doesn’t fall under this category, but Colorado law takes a broader stance. Under CRS 42-1-102(112), a vehicle is “a device capable of moving a person or property from one place to another.” This definition encompasses not only motor vehicles but also bicycles. Thus, riding a bicycle while under the influence can lead to a DUI charge.

The Legal Limit for Biking Under the Influence in Colorado

Colorado’s legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for driving a motor vehicle is 0.08%. This is a well-known fact among motorists, but it’s equally applicable to cyclists. If a police officer suspects you’re biking under the influence and you register a BAC of 0.08% or higher, you can be arrested and charged with a DUI.

Zero Tolerance for Underage Bicyclists

Colorado has a zero-tolerance policy for individuals under the legal drinking age of 21. If you’re under 21 and operating a bicycle with any measurable alcohol in your system, you can face legal consequences. Even a BAC below 0.08% can lead to a DUI charge for underage cyclists.

Consequences of Biking Under the Influence in Colorado

Now that we’ve established that biking under the influence is indeed a crime in Colorado let’s explore the potential consequences you may face if you’re arrested for DUI while cycling.

Criminal Penalties: If you’re convicted of biking under the influence in Colorado, you could face fines, probation, community service, or even jail time, depending on the circumstances and whether it’s your first offense.

  • Loss of Driver’s License: While a DUI on a bicycle won’t result in the suspension of your driver’s license if you have a valid driver’s license at the time of the DUI arrest, it will still be affected. Your driver’s license may be suspended if you’re convicted of a DUI on a bicycle, which can impact your ability to drive in the future.
  • Potential Impact on Future DUI Charges: If you’re arrested for a DUI on a bicycle and have previous DUI convictions in Colorado, the fact that you received a DUI on a bicycle can be used against you if you’re charged with another DUI involving a motor vehicle in the future. Colorado has a lookback period of 10 years for prior DUI convictions, so previous offenses can come back to haunt you.
  • Ignition Interlock Device: In some cases, a DUI conviction, even if it’s related to biking under the influence, can result in the requirement to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle when your driving privileges are eventually restored.

The Role of a DUI Attorney in Colorado

Facing a DUI charge, whether on a bicycle or in a motor vehicle, can be a daunting experience. This is where the expertise of a DUI attorney in Colorado becomes invaluable. Here are some ways a skilled attorney can assist you:

  • Legal Counsel: An experienced DUI attorney can provide legal guidance and help you understand the charges you’re facing. They can explain the potential consequences and the best action to take.
  • Defense Strategies: Attorneys can analyze the evidence against you and develop effective defense strategies. They may challenge the accuracy of BAC tests, question the validity of the arrest, or seek to have evidence suppressed.
  • Negotiating Plea Bargains: In some cases, an attorney may negotiate with prosecutors to secure a favorable plea bargain that reduces the charges or penalties you face.
  • Court Representation: If your case goes to trial, a DUI attorney can represent you, presenting your defense and advocating.
  • Protecting Your Rights: Attorneys are well-versed in protecting your constitutional rights during the legal process, ensuring that law enforcement and prosecution follow proper procedures.

Statistical Insights

To underscore the importance of understanding Colorado’s stance on biking under the influence, let’s examine some relevant statistics:

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), in recent years, alcohol-related crashes have accounted for approximately 30% of all traffic fatalities in the state.

CDOT’s data also reveals that alcohol-related fatalities involving bicycles are not uncommon. In a recent year, there were 8 alcohol-related bicycle fatalities in Colorado.

The Colorado State Patrol reported over 5,000 DUI arrests in a given year. While this statistic primarily concerns motor vehicles, it demonstrates the seriousness with which Colorado law enforcement treats impaired driving.

Understanding Colorado’s DUI Law for Riding a Bicycle

In Colorado, the law takes a comprehensive approach to DUI, encompassing motor vehicles and bicycles. If you’re arrested for biking under the influence, you can face various legal consequences, from fines and probation to potential jail time. Moreover, a DUI on a bicycle can have implications for your driver’s license and future DUI charges.

Given the potential consequences, consulting a DUI attorney in Colorado is highly advisable if you face such charges. An experienced attorney can provide legal guidance, develop defense strategies, and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process.

At the Law Offices of Stephen J. Pisani, we can help you fight a DUI charge. The first step is to call our office at (303) 529-2825 to schedule an appointment to discuss your case.

Remember, while Colorado offers countless outdoor recreation and cycling opportunities, it’s essential to enjoy these activities responsibly and within the bounds of the law. Understanding Colorado’s DUI laws is crucial in ensuring your safety and legal well-being while enjoying the beauty of the Centennial State on two wheels.


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