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Can I Get a DUI for Riding a Bike in Illinois?

Rather than drive your car or take an Uber/Lyft to and from an event where the consumption of alcoholic beverages is involved, some people ride their bicycle. Although you avoid the risk of getting involved in a serious accident and causing another person’s injury or death, is it possible to still get a DUI while riding a bike while intoxicated? 

Although many states consider intoxicated bike riding as an equivalent to drunk driving and punishable as such, Illinois is not one of those states. According to state laws, a person is prohibited from operating or being in actual physical control of a “vehicle,” which is a device that transports someone or something but not exclusively powered by humans. In other words, you cannot get a DUI while riding a bike in Illinois. 

However, this does not make you immune to other criminal offenses. For example, if your behavior while riding your bicycle drunk causes alarm or disturbs the peace, you could be charged with disorderly conduct. Bicyclists on the road also must adhere to the same traffic laws as motorists, so committing a traffic violation will also result in a traffic stop. 

On the other hand, e-scooters and bicycles modified with battery-powered engines are considered as vehicles and subject to Illinois DUI laws. Yet, if the engine does not generate speeds not greater than 20 miles per hour, you do not have to worry about a DUI. 

If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI in Chicago, contact the Law Office of Steven Fine at (312) 436-0638 and schedule a free initial consultation. Attorney Fine has been named one of the Best DUI Lawyers in Chicago in 2020 by Expertise. 

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