Riding a bike while impaired won’t lead to a DUI in B.C., but may have other consequences. (ProfDEH/Wikimedia Commons)

Riding a bike while impaired won’t lead to a DUI in B.C., but may have other consequences. (ProfDEH/Wikimedia Commons)

Cyclists can’t get a DUI, but can be charged or fined for other offenses

Considering the risks, ‘riding while impaired doesn’t make any sense,’ say Saanich police

Choosing to bike home after a night of beers may seem like a good idea and while it won’t lead to a charge for driving under the influence (DUI), it can result in a fine or even an arrest.

While most Greater Victoria residents are aware that riding a bike without a helmet can result in a ticket and a fine, there is confusion about the legality of hopping on a bicycle while impaired.

Can a cyclist get a DUI in B.C.? Const. Markus Anastasiades, public information officer for the Saanich police, explained that the short answer is no.

READ ALSO: Common cycling infractions come with big fines from police, city

However, he pointed out that while it’s not a criminal offense and there is no specific charge in the Motor Vehicle Act (MVA) for impaired biking, a person doing so can be issued a ticket for other reasons.

The way in which someone is riding could be a violation under the MVA, Anastasiades explained. Whether or not they’re impaired, a cyclist could, for example, be ticketed for careless cycling or cycling without reasonable consideration if they aren’t paying attention to the other road users. The fine for both offenses is $109. Anastasiades noted that violating these offenses doesn’t result in demerits on the cyclist’s driver’s license.

Someone cycling while impaired could also be charged under the B.C. Liquor Control and Licensing Act. People aren’t permitted to be intoxicated in public areas, Anastasiades explained.

READ ALSO: Witnesses help stop suspected drunk driver in Saanich

Lindsay Wilkins, a spokesperson for ICBC, emphasized that whether an intoxicated person is on a bike or not, depending on the circumstances, they could be arrested, face charges or be fined for public intoxication or for causing a disturbance.

Anastasiades also pointed out that if an impaired cyclist injured or killed someone in a collision, they could be charged with criminal negligence under the Criminal Code.

“If you put together the legal consequences, risks to the public and the facts that riding a bicycle requires fine motor skills, balance and important decision making, riding while impaired doesn’t make any sense,” Anastasiades said.

Police recommend finding a safer way home by having a designated driver, calling a taxi or using public transit.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Students from SD62 stepped up to help members in the community with the annual 10,000 Tonight food drive. This year’s organizers had to adapt during the campaign as COIVD-19 public health orders changed. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore students step up to make sure community members don’t go without

Students of SD62 are this year’s recipient of the Youth Volunteer Award

A cat died in this house fire in Sidney afternoon. The fire started on the house’s deck and spread from that point. Sidney Volunteer Fire Department Chief Brett Mikkelsen said the permanent presence of crews at the Community Safety Building prevented worse damage. (Photo courtesy of Clayton Firth)
Sidney house fire kills cat, causes extensive damage

Official says fire started on deck and damage to the house could have been worse

Millstream Village is welcoming a new Marshalls location March 9. (Photo courtesy GWL Realty Advisors)
New Marshalls store in Langford brings boost to women in need

Retailer will hold opening ceremony in Millstream Village March 9

Abstract Developments is donating $75,000 to support community programming at The Cridge Centre for the Family. (Courtesy of The Cridge Centre)
Victoria developer builds support for community programs

Abstract Developments donates $75,000 to The Cridge Centre for the Family

SD 62 (Sooke) has announced a COVID-19 exposure at David Cameron Elementary in Colwood. Potential exposure dates are Monday, Feb. 22; Tuesday, Feb. 23; and Wednesday, Feb. 24. (Black Press Media File).
COVID-19 exposure at Colwood’s David Cameron Elementary

Potential exposure dates are Monday, Feb. 22; Tuesday, Feb. 23; and Wednesday, Feb. 24.

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

A boat caught fire in Ladysmith Harbour on Saturday morning. (Photo submitted)
Search underway for missing woman after boat catches fire in Ladysmith harbour

A large boat caught fire on the morning of Saturday, Feb. 27

Lone orca from a pod that made its way north from Georgia Strait and into Discovery Passage on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. Photo by Ella Smiley/<a href="https://www.facebook.com/Comoxvalleywildlifesightings/?ref=page_internal" target="_blank">Comox Valley Wildlife Sightings </a>
Island wildlife viewers thrilled by close view of passing Orca pod

Group gives wildlife photographers a classic opportunity to view them off Campbell River shoreline

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Most Read