You may think that if you’re riding a bike or a scooter in Indiana, you’re safe from DUI laws. Think again. In Indiana, the law treats cyclists, people riding scooters, and other “unusual” vehicles the same as motorists with respect to driving while intoxicated. If you are arrested for operating an unusual vehicle while under the influence, it essential to take the charge seriously and contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Indiana’s broad drunk driving law prohibits the “operation of a vehicle” with at least .08 grams of alcohol by weight in your blood or breath, or a schedule I or II controlled substance in your blood. The law does not limit the prohibition to “motor vehicles.” Police are fully entitled to stop cyclists, scooter drivers, and others suspected of operating their vehicle under the influence and try to establish probable cause for intoxication.
While police arrests of people on bikes or scooters aren’t as common as arrests for drivers of cars, trucks, and motorcycles, it does happen. What’s more, the consequences are just as serious.
Indiana has an “implied consent” law concerning chemical tests. Implied consent means that if you are arrested for an OWI, you have given your implied agreement to submit to a chemical test that analyzes your blood, breath, or urine. In other words, Indiana law requires you to take a chemical test–if you refuse, you will face legal consequences for doing so.
The penalties for an OWI charge resulting from riding a bike or scooter while intoxicated, largely depends on your blood alcohol concentration, whether it is your first offense, or whether you’ve endangered anyone.
At a minimum, you may be charged with a Class C misdemeanor and face up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. With a Class A misdemeanor, you may face up to 1 year in prison and fines reaching $5,000.
If you are a repeat offender, you may be charged with a Level 6 felony. The penalty for this charge is six to 30 months in jail and fines up to $10,000. Finally, if you cause someone else’s death, you will likely be slapped with a Level 5 felony and face one to six years in jail and a fine reaching $10,000.
If you have been arrested for riding a bike, scooter, or another unusual vehicle while intoxicated in Indiana, call the qualified criminal defense lawyers of Razumich & Associates to learn how to best protect your rights and clear your name. We are ready to fight for you. Call us today.