Many people use alternative methods of transportation in Pennsylvania other than a passenger motor vehicle or public transportation. You will see people riding bicycles, scooters, and even skateboards to get to where they need to go, especially around Pennsylvania colleges and universities. Many people are walking to work in order to save money and improve health. In the country, you’re likely to see the Amish using their horses and buggies.
Unfortunately, many of these people think nothing of using an alternative mode of transportation after having a few alcoholic drinks. After all, they’re not driving a motor vehicle, so they think they are safe. What they fail to realize is how Pennsylvania’s DUI laws are worded.
Any Method of Transportation
In the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, a vehicle is defined as anything which can transport a person, which would include a bicycle and Amish buggy. Even though these vehicles don’t have motors and no driver’s license is required to operate these vehicles, in some situations they are viewed in the same manner as a car. A charge of driving under the influence or DUI is one of these situations.
For example, Pennsylvania State Troopers stopped an Amish buggy because the passengers were riding on top of the buggy. The officers found over 20 cans and bottles of beer in the buggy, some were open containers. All passengers were under 20 years of age and the driver was 18 years of age. The driver was arrested and charged with driving under the influence. While most people may not immediately think of an Amish buggy as being a “vehicle,” the DUI statute applies to the buggy as it does for all other vehicles, including bicycles.
Therefore, if you are riding your bicycle and you are weaving or displaying other signs of being impaired by alcohol, an officer can pull you over. If the officer finds probable cause, he can charge you with DUI.
What Happens When You Drive Under the Influence?
Regardless of the mode of transportation, you may be charged with DUI if you have consumed alcohol and then operated any type of vehicle. The legal limit for DUI in Pennsylvania is .08; however, if you are under the age of 21 years, the legal limit is .02. The potential punishment for a DUI conviction is a fine, time in jail, and suspension of your driver’s license. The length of jail time and the amount of the fine varies depending on the specific facts of your case and whether you have any prior DUI convictions.
A DUI conviction also results in a permanent criminal history. This could have a significant impact on your ability to get into the college of your choice. Furthermore, a DUI conviction can also impact your ability to get the job that you desire, especially if you will be required to drive as part of your job or you are required to obtain a license.
Hire An Experienced Pennsylvania DUI Attorney
Anyone who has been charged with operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, including a bicycle, needs legal representation. A DUI attorney helps you determine your best course of action and presents a solid case on your behalf to help you obtain the best result possible given the facts in your case. Contact The Travis Law Firm toll free at (800) 401-2066 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Pennsylvania DUI attorneys.