The Law Offices of Saia & Piatt, Inc.
  • Columbus
    614-444-3036
  • Mayfield Heights
    440-646-1881
  • Delaware
    740-362-4772
  • Mt. Gilead
    419-946-7876
View Our Practice Areas

Drunk biking is drunk driving

Gone are the days when a person in Ohio could not get in much trouble riding a bike. Until more recent years, operating a bike while intoxicated did not land a person in legal trouble like driving a car drunk did.

Ohio is one state that changed the law regarding drunk operation of a motor vehicle to no longer require that the vehicle have a motor or run on electricity. Rather, other wheeled modes of transport can now fall within the confines of Operating a Vehicle Impaired.

Expanded definition of vehicle for OVI law

Under the newer law, other devices now fall under the definition of vehicle, including motorized bicycles and non-motorized bicycles. However, the law has expressly excluded some motorized modes of transport, such as wheelchairs, personal assistive mobility devices or any device, except a bike, that moves via human power. It is important to note, however, that the definition of bicycle may not be what one generally thinks of as a bike. A bicycle, after all, should mean two wheels, not three or more or only one wheel.

Under the law, a bicycle excludes a device made solely for use as a vehicle toy for a child. However, it does include human propelled devices that a person can ride if it has two or more wheels and at least one of those wheels has a diameter greater than 14 inches. Thus, it would seem that tricycles may count as bikes unless they have very tiny wheels, like that intended for a child. But perhaps non-motorized skateboards and roller skates would not, due to the small size of the wheels.

Drunk biking is not safer biking

As reported by Bicycling, an interesting study suggested that riding a bike while under the influence, even without a helmet, may be safer than riding it sober. Apparently, the Ohio legislature disagree and others may have debunked the study. The study published by the International Journal of Legal Medicine used arguably flawed criteria, including applying a reduced level of blood alcohol concentration in its choice of subject, a 0.01 percent level versus the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

Regardless of the safety or danger of imbibing before going for a spin on a bike, cyclists can find themselves paying the high price of an OVI. Bike riders are now accountable to the same law as motor vehicle operators.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

A Nationally Recognized Law Firm

Email Us For A Response

Start Fighting Today

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Columbus Office
713 South Front Street
Columbus, OH 43206

Toll Free: 888-444-3036
Phone: 614-444-3036
Map & Directions

Mayfield Heights Office
1392 SOM Center Road
Mayfield Heights, OH 44124

Phone: 440-646-1881
Fax: 440-443-1969
Map & Directions

Delaware Office
98 North Union Street
Delaware, OH 43015

Phone: 740-362-4772
Fax: 740-362-4802
Map & Directions

Mt. Gilead Office
19 East High Street
Mt. Gilead, OH 43338

Phone: 419-946-7876
Fax: 419-947-8595
Map & Directions

Review Us
Call Today For A Free Case Evaluation :
614-444-3036 or 888-684-6446 (888OVIOHIO)