Biking While Drunk Is Not Illegal, Just a Really Bad Idea


We’ve often wondered whether you could get a DUI for biking under the influence — or a BUI, as it were — in New York City. Thankfully, J. David Goodman at the New York Times City Room blog tackles this very question. And the final word is: biking under the influence is not explicitly illegal in New York, though a drunk cyclist can be charged with reckless endangerment or public intoxication, just as a pedestrian can.

Hm. Good to know. Not that biking while drunk is a good idea, of course. We’ll admit to having done it, and while we fortunately walked away with minor wounds, there was an extreme loss of dignity and a certain number of regrets about the fact that we’re sort of idiots.

According to blood-alcohol tests on the bodies of 176 of the 225 cyclists killed in accidents between 1996 and 2005, 18 of the cyclists were found to have drunk before they crashed.

If you must drink and bike, be careful, and wear a helmet, but actually fasten it, please. As for biking around with your own personal distillery, we’re pretty sure you should at least get a brown paper bag or something.

Now, who’s on the case of a bike breathalyzer? Apparently, the Taiwanese.