To begin with, Florida Statutes section 306.003(75), defines a vehicle as every device, in, upon, or by which any person or property transported or drawn upon a highway. Except devices used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks. Thus, they define a bicycle as every vehicle propelled solely by human power. And, every motorized bicycle propelled by a combination of human power and an electric motor helper. Pursuant to this definition, Florida courts have held bicycles to be vehicles. Bicyclists have the right to share the road with motorists. In addition, they must also follow the same laws as motorists too. Those laws include the prohibition against driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or any combination of the two.
Under the same rationale, electric bicycles and scooters are vehicles too. So, only a small minority of states classify them as such, but that’s the law in Florida. Incidentally, it isn’t going to change within the foreseeable future. In the recent past, these Florida DUI vehicle laws have applied many different instances. For example, it applied to:
- A man on an expressway riding a horse.
- Someone driving a riding mower home from the neighborhood liquor store.
- A man on a golf cart.
In California, police have already arrested someone for causing an accident while DUI on a scooter.
They can find you guilty of driving under the influence (DUI) operating a vehicle with a BAC of .08 or higher. Yet, if a person operates a vehicle with impaired normal faculties the law can find them guilty of DUI. Thus, evidence of impairment might be in the form of a police officer’s observations or admissions by the operator. As well as, alcohol or drugs found upon a lawful search. These laws apply to conventional or electric bicycles and scooters too.
Take notice that a bicycle or scooter DUI in Florida is punishable. In fact, they have the same penalties as a DUI when operating a motor vehicle. Even if a Bird or Lime scooter or bike is available after an evening out. Taking a taxi, Uber or Lyft is still a far less expensive alternative than getting a DUI.
RHINO Lawyers can help and guide you through a system molded by law enforcement, judges, and lawyers for decades. Having won cases for our clients in similar circumstances, our criminal defense team know what it takes to fight on your behalf.
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