Can You Get a DUI While Riding a Bike or Skateboard?

Bike DUIEveryone knows that Nevada law makes it illegal to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. But does the law also prohibit operating other types of wheeled vehicles, such as bicycles or skateboards, while drinking or under the influence? Although cyclists or skateboarders do not face the potential of DUI charges, they may be arrested for other alcohol-related offenses.

Nevada’s DUI Law

Under Nevada DUI laws, a person commits the offense of drunk driving when they drive or have physical control of a vehicle on a highway or public property while being intoxicated by alcohol. A person may face a DUI conviction if they have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more within two hours of driving or having physical control of a vehicle. That said, DUI is not synonymous with drunk driving. A person can also commit DUI by driving or having physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of:

  • A controlled substance
  • A combination of alcohol and controlled substances
  • Any chemical, solvent, or poison that renders them incapable of driving or exercising physical control of a vehicle safely

Is It Illegal to Drink and Bike?

Nevada law defines drunk driving as operating a vehicle on a highway or public property. However, state law defines a “vehicle” as any device that can transport people or property on a highway. The statute expressly excludes from the definition of a vehicle:

  • Any device moved by human power
  • Any device used exclusively on stationary rails or tracks
  • Electric bicycles
  • Electric scooters
  • Electric personal assistive mobility devices
  • Mobile homes or commercial coaches
  • “Mobile carrying devices” designed to transport property on sidewalks or crosswalks

Because Nevada law expressly excludes pedal-powered and electric bikes from the definition of a “vehicle,” Nevada’s DUI laws do not apply when someone rides their bicycle while intoxicated.

What About Skateboarding and Drinking?

Can you get a DUI on a skateboard in Nevada? Because a skateboard requires human power to move, it does not qualify as a “vehicle” subject to Nevada’s DUI laws. As a result, a person will not face DUI charges for skateboarding and drinking in Nevada.

Can I Face Any Criminal Charges for Biking or Skateboarding While Drinking?

Although a person cannot get arrested for DUI if they bike or skateboard while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs, they may face other criminal charges for their conduct. In Nevada, the law expressly states that public intoxication does not constitute a separate criminal offense. However, public intoxication on a bike or skateboard may lead to other criminal charges, such as:

  • Disturbing the Peace – Police may arrest an intoxicated bicyclist or skateboarder on charges of disturbing the peace for making loud or unreasonable noises or engaging in violent or threatening behavior.
  • Trespassing – An intoxicated cyclist or skateboarder who enters private property by crossing a “private property” or “no trespassing” sign or who ignores the property owner or occupier’s demand to vacate the property may be arrested for trespassing.
  • Underage Drinking – People under 21 caught biking or skateboarding while intoxicated may also be arrested for underage drinking.

The police may arrest an intoxicated cyclist or skateboarder on reckless endangerment charges. Under Nevada law, reckless endangerment is the violation of a legal obligation made with wanton or willful disregard for other people’s safety. Because many aspects of Nevada’s vehicle code apply to road users like bicyclists or skateboarders, someone riding a bicycle or skateboard may be arrested on suspicion of reckless endangerment if their conduct puts other road users at risk of accidents and injuries.

A reckless endangerment charge constitutes a gross misdemeanor offense in Nevada, with maximum penalties of up to 364 days in jail and a fine of $2,000. Should an accident result in severe injury or death, the offense increases to a category C felony, which carries a penalty of one to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

A person facing a reckless endangerment prosecution may raise various defenses to their charge, such as:

  • Proving that they only acted negligently, a less serious breach than recklessness
  • Showing that the arresting officer unreasonably believed that their actions constituted a willful or wanton disregard for others’ safety
  • Proving that they acted to avoid more significant harm, such as swerving to avoid a collision or crash

In some cases, the police may detain an intoxicated person riding a bicycle or skateboard if they believe the person’s intoxication poses a threat to their safety, including if the police fear the person may fall off their bike or skateboard or get into an accident. But a public safety detention does not involve criminal charges, and the police will release the individual once they have sobered up.

How an Experienced Nevada Criminal Defense Lawyer If You Are Facing DUI or Other Alcohol-Related Criminal Charges

Getting arrested for an alcohol-related charge while riding a bicycle or skateboard may put you at risk of severe consequences, including fines and potentially even jail time. A criminal defense attorney from the Law Office of Joel M. Mann can help you seek a favorable resolution to your case by:

  • Independently investigating the charges against you to obtain all evidence we can use in your defense
  • Explaining your charges, potential outcomes, and available defenses
  • Contesting the state’s case at each step, including moving to dismiss or exclude evidence
  • Negotiating a favorable plea agreement to resolve your charges, if appropriate
  • Fighting your charges in court if you choose to assert your innocence

Contact the Law Office of Joel M. Mann for a Free Consultation

Although Nevada law does not make riding a bicycle or skateboard while drinking or intoxicated a DUI offense, cycling or skateboarding while intoxicated may result in other criminal charges.

If you’ve been arrested for drinking or intoxication on a bike or skateboard, get the legal help you need to defend your rights and interests. Contact the Law Office of Joel M. Mann today for a free, confidential case evaluation to discuss your options for fighting your charges.