It is unlawful for any person to ride a bicycle upon a highway while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or any drug, or under the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and any drug. California Vehicle Code Section 21200.5 which is the law that was quoted above also states that any person arrested for a violation of this section may request to have a chemical test of that person's blood, breath , or urine for the purpose of testing the alcoholic or drug level in that person's body. If the cyclist is found guilty of the offense he shall be fined $250.00 or less.
Bicycles are not the same as vehicles under the laws of the Vehicle Code and therefore the laws covering drunk drivers of automobiles are not applied to drunken bicycle riders. In those cases involving driving a vehicle such as a car, truck, or motorcycle under the influence of alcohol, the drivers' blood alcohol content is presumed to be over the legal limit if it is 0.08% or higher. This 0.08% blood alcohol content limit is not part of the Vehicle Code that defines, "driving a bicycle while intoxicated". Therefore whether or not a cyclist was too impaired to ride his bicycle along a roadway, highway, must be proven by circumstantial evidence such as how the bicycle was being operated according to witnesses. Of course the results of the chemical testing of the rider's blood, breath, or urine can be admissible in evidence at trial. Also it should be noted that the California implied consent law will apply to bicyclists as it does to drivers of vehicles who are arrested for driving while intoxicated. They must submit to a chemical test. Refusing to allow the testing can result in additional criminal consequences.
As the Palm Springs Personal Injury Lawyer I have handled Palm Springs and Palm Desert accident cases caused by drunken bicycle riders who seemed to think that they could drink as much beer as they wanted and then hop on their bikes and ride on our Coachella Valley roadways in a negligent manner thinking that they were not violating any laws. Indio pedestrian accidents are often caused by less than sober bicycle riders. But I have also seen these kinds of accidents occur in Rancho Mirage, Cathedral City, and Indian Wells. If you need an experienced Palm Springs pedestrian accident or auto accident attorney on your side, we can help. Contact us today.