Can I Get a DUI on a Bike or Electric Scooter in Tampa, Florida?

As per Florida Statutes section 306.003(75), the State of Florida defines a vehicle as “every device, in, upon, or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, excepting devices used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.” A bicycle is defined 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, but 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. Only a small minority of states classify them as such, but that’s the law in Florida, and it isn’t going to change within the foreseeable future. In the recent past, these Florida DUI vehicle laws have applied to a man on an expressway riding a horse, a man driving a riding mower home from the neighborhood liquor store and a man on a golf cart. In California, police have already arrested someone for causing an accident while DUI on a scooter.

A person who operates a motor vehicle in the State of Florida with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher can be found guilty of driving under the influence (DUI). He or she can also be found guilty of DUI if their normal faculties are impaired. Evidence of impairment might be in the form of a police officer’s observations, admissions by the operator or alcohol or drugs found upon a lawful search. These laws apply to conventional or electric bicycles and scooters too.

Take notice that bicycle or scooter DUIs in Florida are punishable by 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, a taxi, Uber or Lyft is still a far less expensive alternative than being found guilty of DUI.

Please feel free to read more about electric scooters coming to Tampa or what to do after a DUI.
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