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

Just Posted

“Isolation is normal for us,” says Saanich dad with cystic fibrosis

Gordon Head man says now’s the time to approve life-saving cystic fibrosis drug

Victoria business still busy as people turn to books while in self-isolation

Russell Books says certain genres have gained popularity during COVID-19

Farmers’ markets still open in Greater Victoria

The Moss Street and Esquimalt Farmers’ markets are scheduled to take place, with slight variations

Sooke School District promises learning opportunites for students by mid-April

‘No intent to replicate regular school day virtually’ SD62 says

VIDEO: Musician stays physically distant in courtyard show for Langford retirees

Bob Nelson found a way to continue to play for retirement community residents

Trudeau announces 75% wage subsidy for small businesses amid COVID-19

This is up from the previously announced 10 per cent wage subsidy

COVID-19: A message from the publisher

We will be making some changes to our print editions during these unprecedented times

World update, 9:30 p.m. March 27: Positive news in Korea as U.S. hits 100,000 cases

The United States now has the most coronavirus cases of any country in the world

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

COVID-19: Qualicum Beach youngster gets car parade for his sixth birthday

Friends get creative after party cancelled due to ongoing pandemic

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

Nanaimo RCMP ask for help locating 17-year-old girl believed to be with 36-year-old man

Mary Cyprich, missing since Thurday, might be in company of Force Forsythe

67 more B.C. COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region

Positive tests found in Surrey, Langley long-term care facilities

‘Now is not the time to bag that peak’: BCSAR manager discourages risky outdoor adventures

Call volumes are not going down, even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists

Most Read