Hernando Today is reporting that two Spring Hill people were arrested Tuesday for DUI—while they were on their bicycle. As unlikely as that seems, under Florida law, it’s completely permissible.
Under the law, both bicyclists and drivers have a duty to obey all traffic regulations and that includes driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Even when I was a prosecutor prosecuting DUIs on a daily basis, I never saw the point of charging bicyclists with DUI. The public safety concerns that were the impetus behind the prohibition of drunk driving are less of a factor in impaired bicyclist cases. The fear that a drunk drivers can seriously injure or kill themselves or others is a valid one and the penalties surrounding DUI and the required punishments for a DUI conviction are logically related to those concerns. If you are convicted for DUI, among other things, your driving privileges are taken away, and you can have an ignition interlock device put on your car. An ignition interlock device forces a driver to blow into a sobriety gauge before the vehicle will start.
One of the allegedly impaired bicyclists recognized the irrationality of being charged with DUI on a bicycle when he said to officers, “What are you going do to do, give me an interlock device on my bicycle?” But that’s essentially the argument that has to be made. The punishment should fit the crime and in this case the punishment doesn’t relate to the crime, nor does it deter it.
Comments about this post can be directed to Hernando County DUI Attorney Whittel & Melton, LLC at (352) 666-2121. Our attorneys have represented hundreds of clients charged with DUI. If you have been arrested, please contact us for a consultation.