Why Riding A Bike Under the Influence is Dangerous for You and for Others

Bicycling is a great way to get around. It cuts down on carbon emissions, helps control the traffic in our city, and gives the rider a little bit of exercise. Biking has been growing in popularity in Southern California. Bike lanes are becoming normal, and overall more and more people are turning to bicycles. However, there is one thing that all bicyclists should avoid at all costs: biking under the influence. 

Biking under the influence of drugs and alcohol is actually illegal in California under Vehicle Code Section 21200.5. If an officer of the law suspects that you are under the influence of a substance while riding your bike on a public road, path, or sidewalk, they can issue a field sobriety test. But beyond the legalities of riding under the influence are the dangers to the rider. At a national level, roughly 25% of cycling fatalities involved an intoxicated rider. A Johns Hopkins University study recently found that bicyclist with a blood alcohol content above 0.08 (the legal limit for motorists) increases the bicyclist’s risk of injury by an incredible 2,000%. Intoxicated riders put themselves and others at risk. 

Below is a list of common behaviors exhibited by intoxicated riders that may lead to significant injury:

  • Intoxicated riders are less likely to wear a helmet, thus increasing their risk of head injury. 
  • Intoxicated riders are more likely to swerve out of bike lanes. This can cause vehicles to swerve and collide with either one another, or the bicyclist. 
  • Intoxicated riders are more likely to ignore biking laws. 
  • Intoxicated riders on public sidewalks are more likely to collide with pedestrians. 
  • Intoxicated riders exhibit less balance and coordination, which often results in collisions.

So if you are planning to enjoy alcohol or a recreational drug, do yourself and others a favor by planning a sober ride home. Rideshare applications are a fantastic option and are much safer than biking under the influence. If you do wind up in a biking accident, call Herrera Law for help and representation. We would be happy to take on your case and, we will work hard to ensure that you recover from your injuries both physically and financially. 

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