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Can You Get a DUI if You are Riding a Motorcycle?

Are you a motorcyclist in Florida? If so, it is imperative that you put a strong priority on your health and safety. Further, you should know the law in Florida regarding motorcycle safety. Notably, it is unlawful—and dangerous—to operate a motorcycle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Our Stuart DUI defense lawyer explains the key points to understand about drunk driving on a motorcycle and criminal charges in Florida.

Operate a Motorcycle While Under the Influence in Florida

It is Unlawful to Operate a Motorcycle While Under the Influence in Florida

In Florida, operating a motorcycle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal. It is a criminal offense that can lead to severe legal consequences. Indeed, Florida state law strictly prohibits the operation of motorcycles by individuals who are impaired by substances. Any person caught riding a motorcycle under the influence in Florida could be subject to serious penalties, including fines, the suspension of their license, and jail time.

You Can Get a DUI On Other “Vehicles” as Well (Moped, Electric Scooter, Bicycle, etc)

To be clear, a motorcycle is far from the only vehicle in which you can get a drunk driving or drugged driving charge. Quite the contrary, Florida’s DUI laws define the term “vehicle” in an extremely broad manner. You can be arrested and charged with a DUI if you are under the influence while operating any of the following types of vehicles in Florida:

  • A moped;
  • An electric scooter; and
  • A bicycle.

Understanding the Elements of Motorcycle DUI Charges in Florida

When can you be arrested for a DUI on a motorcycle in Florida? Similar to other types of drunk driving/drugged driving matters, these cases are governed by Florida Statutes § 316.193. Here are two key elements of the law that defendants need to be aware of:

  • Actual Physical Control: Notably, this element of a DUI charge in Florida does not require the motorcycle to be in motion. If a rider is found on or near the motorcycle and capable of operating it (such as having the keys in the ignition or being in the riding position), this can constitute actual physical control.
  • Under the Influence: Prosecutors must also prove a rider’s impairment. A motorcyclist must be impaired by alcohol or drugs to the extent that their normal faculties are affected. Florida law defines this impairment as having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher or otherwise being under the influence of a controlled substance.

Know the Penalties for a Motorcycle DUI Charge in Florida

If you or your loved one was pulled over and charged with a DUI on a motorcycle in Florida, it is crucial that you understand the potential penalties. Here is an overview:

  • First-Time DUI: A first-time DUI can carry a $1,000 fine, a 180-day license suspension, and up to six months in jail.
  • Second-Time DUI: A second-time DUI can carry a $2,000 fine, mandatory 180-day license revocation, and up to nine months in jail (with a 10-day minimum).

Notably, aggravating factors can lead to even more serious penalties. For example, if a drunk motorcyclist causes a serious accident, they may be charged with a felony DUI in Florida.

You Have the Right to Defend Yourself Against a Motorcycle DUI Charge

Facing a motorcycle DUI charge is stressful, intimidating, and even downright frightening. Not only is your right to ride at stake, but your freedom is on the line. It is imperative that you remember that you have the right to raise a zealous defense. Prosecutors in Florida have the duty to prove any criminal charge beyond a reasonable doubt. At The Law Office of Denise Miller, PA, we are prepared to protect the rights of the accused. No matter the specific circumstances surrounding your DUI motorcycle accident, our Stuart drunk driving defense attorney is here as a legal resource.

Contact Our Stuart, FL DUI Defense Lawyer Today

At The Law Office of Denise Miller, PA, our Stuart, FL DUI defense attorney is standing by, ready to invest the time, the resources, and the attention to detail that you can trust when it matters the most. If you were arrested for a DUI on a motorcycle, we are more than ready to help. Call us now or contact us online to arrange a fully private case assessment. With an office located in Stuart, we defend DUI motorcycle crashes in Martin County and throughout the wider region.

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