Houston Bicycle DWI Lawyer
People often go out to enjoy some drinks with friends and many times, they want to be responsible when it comes time to find a way home. One way people may try to get home safely is by riding their bicycle. Unfortunately, accidents sometimes occur when a person is on a bike and sometimes, law enforcement may even try to charge a cyclist with driving while intoxicated (DWI). It is common to wonder if these charges are legal, and if you will face the serious consequences that come with a conviction. Below, our Houston bicycle DWI lawyer explains the relevant law in these cases.
Our Houston Bicycle DWI Lawyer Knows the Law
Under the Texas Penal Code, a DWI occurs anytime someone operates a device on a highway with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08 percent or greater. A person may also face DWI charges if they are operating such a device in such a manner while their mental or physical faculties are impaired. Regarding whether or not bicycles are covered under this law is unclear because the language is so vague.
The law only defines a motor vehicle as “a device,” and does not specifically mention that the device must have a motor. Many prosecutors use this language to argue that a bicycle is a motor vehicle. However, the bicycle laws of the state do not make it illegal to ride a bicycle while intoxicated. As a result, after charges are laid, negotiations often occur between the prosecution and a Houston bicycle DWI lawyer. Through these negotiations, a bicycle DWI can sometimes be reduced to a lesser charge, or dropped altogether.
Our Houston Bicycle DWI Lawyer Knows Other Penalties May Apply
Even if you can avoid bicycle DWI charges, you may face other penalties if you ride your bike while intoxicated. The two most common consequences include:
- Public intoxication charges: Texas law defines public intoxication as being under the influence of drugs or alcohol while in a public place and to such a level that you pose harm to yourself or others. Cycling is often a very dangerous activity in Houston, even for those that are not under the influence. When a person is intoxicated, they may have slowed reaction times, exhibit poor judgment, and have perception issues. All of this can result in a very serious accident with a car or pedestrian, which means public intoxication charges may apply, even if an accident does not occur.
- Civil liability: If you do cause an accident while you are riding your bike under the influence, and someone else is injured, they can file a civil claim against you for damages, or monetary compensation. If they can prove you were operating your bike while intoxicated, that could be enough for them to prove you were negligent and therefore, liable.
A Houston bicycle DWI lawyer can help you avoid the criminal consequences that stem from charges, so you can retain your freedom.
Call Our Houston Bicycle DWI Lawyer Now
If you have been charged with a DWI while on your bicycle, do not hesitate to call our bicycle DWI lawyer in Houston now. At Ayson Law Firm, our skilled attorney knows how to defend against these charges to give you the best chance of a positive outcome. Call us today at 832-209-2297 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.