Bicycles, DUI, and the Importance of One Word

As reported by The Patriot-News, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania issued an interesting ruling this week that addresses a question we get more frequently than you might imagine:  can I get arrested for DUI while riding my bike?  The answer:  not only can you be arrested, but you have to submit to chemical testing as well.

That’s right, you have to submit to chemical testing or face an automatic one-year drivers license suspension if you are stopped while riding a bicycle–an act that doesn’t require a license–and the police suspect you of being intoxicated.

How did the Commonwealth Court come to that conclusion?  The Court noted that when the DUI laws were last amended the word “motor” was eliminated from the phrase “motor vehicle” in the implied consent statute.  Thus, anyone who operates a vehicle–defined elsewhere as including a bicycle–consents to chemical testing when DUI is suspected.