Riding a bike while impaired won’t lead to a DUI in B.C., but may have other consequences. (ProfDEH/Wikimedia Commons)

Cyclists can’t get a DUI, but can be charged or fined for other offenses

Considering the risks, ‘riding while impaired doesn’t make any sense,’ say Saanich police

Choosing to bike home after a night of beers may seem like a good idea and while it won’t lead to a charge for driving under the influence (DUI), it can result in a fine or even an arrest.

While most Greater Victoria residents are aware that riding a bike without a helmet can result in a ticket and a fine, there is confusion about the legality of hopping on a bicycle while impaired.

Can a cyclist get a DUI in B.C.? Const. Markus Anastasiades, public information officer for the Saanich police, explained that the short answer is no.

READ ALSO: Common cycling infractions come with big fines from police, city

However, he pointed out that while it’s not a criminal offense and there is no specific charge in the Motor Vehicle Act (MVA) for impaired biking, a person doing so can be issued a ticket for other reasons.

The way in which someone is riding could be a violation under the MVA, Anastasiades explained. Whether or not they’re impaired, a cyclist could, for example, be ticketed for careless cycling or cycling without reasonable consideration if they aren’t paying attention to the other road users. The fine for both offenses is $109. Anastasiades noted that violating these offenses doesn’t result in demerits on the cyclist’s driver’s license.

Someone cycling while impaired could also be charged under the B.C. Liquor Control and Licensing Act. People aren’t permitted to be intoxicated in public areas, Anastasiades explained.

READ ALSO: Witnesses help stop suspected drunk driver in Saanich

Lindsay Wilkins, a spokesperson for ICBC, emphasized that whether an intoxicated person is on a bike or not, depending on the circumstances, they could be arrested, face charges or be fined for public intoxication or for causing a disturbance.

Anastasiades also pointed out that if an impaired cyclist injured or killed someone in a collision, they could be charged with criminal negligence under the Criminal Code.

“If you put together the legal consequences, risks to the public and the facts that riding a bicycle requires fine motor skills, balance and important decision making, riding while impaired doesn’t make any sense,” Anastasiades said.

Police recommend finding a safer way home by having a designated driver, calling a taxi or using public transit.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Falling oak tree causes minor damage to Langford home

Tree damages garden and gutters of home on Lindsay Place

Residents to start moving into first of 100 new affordable homes in Langford

Construction underway on second phase of affordable Indigenous housing project in Langford

Volunteers sought to remove weeds from Port Renfrew’s Parkinson Road

Road has no sidewalks, forcing pedestrians to walk on pavement

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 7

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Would you get a vaccine for COVID-19 when it is available?

With the number of positive COVID-19 tests skyrocketing across much of the… Continue reading

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Most Read