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

COVID-19: UVic Engineering to 3-D print 4,000 face-shields for frontline workers

Team working to ensure Island health care workers have personal protective equipment

Mental Health: Erasing stigma leads to new path for Victoria woman

Paula Roumeliotis struggled with bipolar disorder for 35 years before finding support

Health care workers gain access to virtual health care options

During COVID-19 many clinics have closed, leaving health care workers with nowhere to turn

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

POLL: Will you be able to make your rent or mortgage payment this month?

With the COVID-19 delivering a devastating blow to the global economy, and… Continue reading

Tax collectors, auditors to help field ‘historic’ numbers of benefit-seeking callers

‘If you work for CRA, people think we are just there to take money from your pockets.’

Family uses social media to help truckers find places to eat during pandemic

Restaurants Serving Drivers in Western Canada seeks to provide a list of places open for drivers

Advocates sound alarm over COVID-19 limiting access to contraceptives, abortion

The COVID-19 outbreak has hit sexual-health services from almost every angle

Cowichan couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

B.C. health officer says homemade masks may prevent spread of COVID-19 to others

Practising physical distancing, frequent hand washing and resisting touching your face are proven methods

B.C.’s senior home staff measures show results in COVID-19 battle

Dr. Bonnie Henry’s order restricts care aides to one facility

Independent investigation praises RCMP actions in Vancouver Island suicide attempt

Man hurt in incident that took place near Nanoose Bay in September of 2019

Most Read