Orlando DUI on a “Bicycle”?

Posted by Matt Olszewski on September 18, 2010

A common misconception that I hear from people that I meet is the belief that they can only be arrested for DUI if they were driving a motor vehicle. Unfortunately, this belief is completely false.

Section 316.003 (75), Florida Statutes defines “vehicle” as “Every device, in, upon or
by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway,
excepting devices used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.” This definition
was adopted in the standard jury instructions. See, Florida Standard Jury
Instructions in Criminal Cases 28.1.

Under this definition, it is possible to be arrested and convicted of DUI in the State of Florida while on a golf cart, on an ATV, on a bicycle, and even on a horse! In State v. Howard, 510 So.2d 612 (Fla. 3rd DCA 1987), the court found that “had the legislature intended to exclude bicyclists, it could have made section 316.193 applicable only to a “motor vehicle,” as the statutory definition of a motor vehicle excludes bicycles, § 316.003(21), Fla. Stat. (1985). Since the words used in the statute are clear, we must presume that the legislature meant what it said and purposely chose to make section 316.193 apply to all vehicles, rather than just “motor vehicles”.

However, there is good news. Although you can still be arrested and prosecuted for DUI while “driving vehicles” such as a bicycle, it should be known that your driving privileges cannot be administratively suspended for refusing a breath test. This is because Florida Statute 316.1932 (1) (a) (the statute which creates the implied consent obligations of a driver) and Florida Statute 322.2615 (which regulates administrative suspensions for DUI) use the term “motor vehicle,” and a bicycle is clearly not a motor vehicle. So where your driver’s license will be suspended for 1 year by the DMV for refusing a breath test if you were driving a car, they cannot suspend your driver’s license for 1 year for refusing a breath test if you were riding a bicycle or other non-“motor vehicle”.

There are many intricacies and misconceptions when it comes to DUI laws in the State of Florida. This is why it’s important that you have an experienced and dedicated DUI defense attorney on your side. If you’ve been arrested for DUI in Orlando, Central Florida or anywhere else in the State of Florida, contact the FL DUI Group today for your free case evaluation.

FL DUI Group. Dedicated DUI Defense. It’s what we do.

At the FL DUI Group, we urge you never to forget the bottom line:
No DUI arrest is perfect. Law Enforcement officers are human. They make mistakes. Breath Test Operators are human. They also make mistakes. Breath Test Inspectors are human. They too can make mistakes. The breath test machine isn’t perfect. It often makes mistakes and in some circumstances can be flat out wrong. The FL DUI Group knows DUI cases. The FL DUI Group knows the mistakes that occur in DUI cases and we will expose those mistakes to the judge and jury. Let our truly unique experience work for you.

Your case deserves dedicated DUI defense. It’s what we do.

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Q. Can I drive under a suspended license permit in Orlando, Central Florida or West Palm Beach?
A. If your driver’s license is suspended due to a DUI, you are often eligible for a driving permit that allows you to drive to work, school, medical and legal appointments and worship services. [ ... ]
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