Riding A Bike Under The Influence Of Alcohol Is Illegal

As our local government prepares the city to make it more bike-friendly, Louisville bicyclists should remember that they are responsible for riding safe and sober. Driving under the influence is a serious offense with severe penalties and cyclists are not exempt from this law. Kentucky law states that it is illegal to drive a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, and it also prohibits any person under the influence from operating a vehicle that is not a motor vehicle anywhere in the state.

Related: Is It Illegal To Ride A Bike On Sidewalks In Louisville?

Kentucky law
KRS 189.520 (1) states that:

“No person under the influence of intoxicating beverages or any substance which may impair one's driving ability shall operate a vehicle that is not a motor vehicle anywhere in this state.”

This simply means that any person riding a bicycle, or any other non-motor vehicle, under the influence of alcohol can be charged with DUI under the said law. Please drink responsible and know your limits. You don't want to be riding your bike and then fall over into a busy street. If you've had too much to drink or if you're not sure, have someone pick you up. They can put your bike in their car or you can pick it up the next day.

Drunk riding arrest
In April 2012, a complaint was sent to the Laurel County Sheriff Office alleging that a man riding a bicycle along Ky. 3094 was under the influence. Deputy William Bo Harris responded to the complaint and found Lynnville Lee Miller, 36, on a bicycle. Harris placed Miller under arrest after he had determined that Miller was intoxicated. Miller was charged with DUI for violating KRS 189.520.

Related: Bicycle Signals Help Protect Cyclists on the Roads

As a Kentucky Bicycle Accident Attorney, I want to remind everyone that bicyclists are required to follow the same rule as vehicles. You have to stop at all stop lights and signs as well as use hand signals to inform other vehicles that you are about to turn. While riding your bike is definitely fun, don't forget that we have rules to follow. Do not ride your bike if you have been drinking alcohol. Our city may have better biking lanes, but we still need to practice safe biking habits.

Michael Schafer
The Personal Injury Attorney for Louisville and Kentucky
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