Biking under the influence is illegal in Maryland

On Behalf of | Aug 1, 2017 | Underage Drinking

Many Marylanders of all ages take to their bicycles during the summer, either for exercise, sightseeing or simply to get around town. Most people don’t consider their bikes to be vehicles, so they don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a few drinks before hopping on their bike after a picnic, wine tasting tour or pub crawl. The law, however, sees things differently.

Laws regarding biking while under the influence aren’t as consistent throughout the country as they are for drunk driving. It’s not illegal in all states. However, it is here in Maryland. If you are caught riding a bike while under the influence of alcohol, you can also be charged with public intoxication and reckless driving. Young people can face underage drinking charges.

While there’s less chance of harming someone while biking intoxicated than while driving a motor vehicle under the influence, you still pose a danger to yourself and others. Your judgment is impaired and your reflexes aren’t as quick as they should be.

Intoxicated bikers may neglect to wear a helmet or use other important safety equipment. They may swerve into traffic, endangering themselves and motorists who are forced to swerve out of the way. Of course, bicyclists generally don’t fare well in bike vs. car accidents.

You may think that you’re being safe by riding your bike to a local restaurant or a party where you’ll be drinking. However, you’re not. Even if you make it home in one piece, you risk arrest, fines, jail time and other penalties. Don’t take the legal consequences lightly. An experienced Maryland DUI attorney can provide guidance and support.

Source:, “Is Drinking While Boating (or Biking) Legal?,” Cathie Ericson, accessed July 31, 2017

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