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Stopping Bikers Under the Influence

by  on  News & Resources

When you’ve had one too many drinks, you may not think about the risks involved with biking home. In fact, you may think that you’re being responsible, avoiding driving drunk in favor of getting home safely on your bike. Many people do not realize that biking drunk or even tipsy can be just as dangerous as driving a car and can lead to serious injuries for the biker, pedestrians and bystanders, and even other drivers on the road.

A biker who is too intoxicated may miss the obstacles around him — stop signs, traffic lights, other vehicles, pedestrians, changes in the road or terrain and other hazards — and he or she may be unable to navigate or avoid them. Blowing through a red light or a stop sign can cause a massive collision, even if it’s just a biker passing through. For this reason, biking without full mental capability is dangerous for everyone involved.

Putting on the Brakes

Now, a new product from a Japanese bicycling store called Koowho has plans to keep bikers who have had too much to drink from mounting their bikes. The “Alcoho-Lock” is, according to the company, the world’s first bike lock that incorporates a breathalyzer. The device’s inventors say that biking while intoxicated is not only dangerous, but also illegal in Japan, and they wanted to ensure that cyclists were making the right choices.

The Alcoho-Lock works similarly to an Ignition Interlock device and acts as a breathalyzer to measure a person’s level of intoxication before he or she can move the bike. Cyclists will blow into the breathalyzer and wait for their blood alcohol content to be calculated. If the concentration is above the legal limit of 0.08 percent, the Alcoho-Lock will prevent the cyclist from unlocking or using the bike.

Additionally, the Alcoho-Lock will contact a designated person if it determines that the cyclist is drunk. The device connects to the person’s smartphone using Bluetooth and places a call to the contact, who can then decide whether the bike should be unlocked remotely or whether the cyclist needs a cab or a ride.

DUI Biking Laws

In Colorado, you can be charged with driving under the influence if you’re riding a bike and your blood alcohol content (BAC) is above the legal limit. If the BAC is between 0.05 percent and 0.08 percent, a cyclist is presumed to be driving while impaired, and if it is above 0.08 percent, the cyclist is driving drunk. Anyone under the age of 21 who has a BAC of 0.02 percent or higher can be charged with a DUI.

At Levine Law, our Denver personal injury lawyers represent anyone who has been injured in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence or poor decisions. Anyone who drives drunk—whether they have a car or a bike—puts others at risk, and victims of these dangerous decisions are entitled to restitution and justice. For more information regarding bike laws, safety and other drunk driving cases, contact an attorney at Levine Law today.