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Can I Get a DUI for Biking Under the Influence in SC?

Can I Get a DUI for Biking Under the Influence in SC?

In order to avoid getting arrested for a DUI in South Carolina, many people believe riding their bicycles – rather than driving their cars – is the best alternative. However, even biking while under the influence can lead to serious criminal penalties. 

First, it is important to understand that the DUI laws in South Carolina only apply to motor vehicles. As long as your bicycle is not powered by a gas or electric motor, you will not be charged with a DUI if you decide to bike while intoxicated. 

However, that does not mean you will completely avoid criminal charges altogether. For example, it is against state law to be “intoxicated” in public. This is known as “public drunkenness,” which is a misdemeanor offense, punishable by a maximum jail sentence of 30 days and a fine not exceeding $500. 

Additionally, you could be charged with “disorderly conduct” if you act or behave in a manner that upsets, angers, or annoys others. Disorderly conduct is also a misdemeanor offense and carries the same penalties as public drunkenness. 

Lastly, not only does biking under the influence lead to other criminal charges, but it can also result in liability concerns if you end up causing an accident on the road. 

At the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr. LLC, we recommend you avoid operating any vehicle – whether it’s powered by a motor or not – when intoxicated. Instead, request a ride home from Uber or Lyft, or call a friend, and lock your bicycle in a safe place until tomorrow. 

If you or a loved one has recently been arrested for a DUI in Lexington, Columbia, or within the surrounding area, contact us today at (803) 359-3301. Helping clients all over South Carolina since 2004.


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