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Is It DUI if I Was Cycling in Boise, Idaho?


If you live in Boise, Idaho, you already know how serious the city takes DUI offenses. Idaho’s DUI laws criminalize driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher (0.02% for under 21s). So, if you’re driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Boise, you’re at risk of steep penalties. Fortunately, our DUI defense lawyers can get you off the hook in no time.

While every Idahoan understands that it’s illegal to drive a car while drunk, how about cycling? Do the DUI laws apply to riding bicycles and scooters, or can cyclists drunk-ride without repercussions? The answers to the questions are essential, seeing that Boise, Idaho is quite a bike-friendly city.

As such, bikers need to know everything they can about Boise’s riding laws to avoid running foul of them. So, in this article, you’ll find out whether Idaho’s DUI laws apply to cyclists and riders. You’ll also learn how cyclists can get in trouble for public intoxication when they drink and ride.

Does a DUI Apply to Bicyclists in Idaho?

To determine whether bicyclists can be guilty of DUI, we must first understand how Idaho’s laws define DUI. Under Idaho’s driving laws, one of the conditions for DUI is being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle. Therefore, the meaning of “motor vehicle,” determines whether bicyclists could be guilty of DUI. While many people may think that bicycles are motor vehicles, let’s look to Idaho’s laws for further insight.

Idaho Code 49-123(1)(h) defines a motor vehicle and expressly excludes vehicles that are “moved solely by human power.” Therefore, since bicycles move solely by human power, they are not motor vehicles under Idaho’s laws. In addition, under the statute, motor vehicles also exclude electric personal assistive mobility devices, personal delivery devices, electric-assisted bicycles, and motorized wheelchairs.

So, does that mean that bicyclists can cycle under the influence of drugs or alcohol without restraint? Not. While you cannot be guilty of DUI, law enforcement can charge you with public intoxication depending on the circumstances of your arrest. We’ll discuss that subsequently.

How About an E-Scooter?

An e-scooter (or electric kick scooter) is electric motor-powered. As such, e-scooters don’t have the same exemption that bicyclists have. However, Idaho’s statute defines motor vehicles as self-propelled vehicles and for titling and registration meets federal motor vehicle safety standards.

So, do e-scooters meet Idaho’s titling and registration requirements? According to the Idaho Department of Transportation, they don’t meet the requirements. As such, they don’t fall under Idaho’s definition of motor vehicles. However, like bicyclists, e-scooter riders may be guilty of public intoxication if they scoot under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

What’s Public Intoxication in Boise, Idaho?

Idaho has zero-tolerance for drug-related offenses. Whether you’re a motorist, cyclist, or pedestrian, intoxication on the highway can put you and others in harm’s way. As such, Idaho’s laws prohibit public intoxication.

Public intoxication (or public drunkenness) happens when you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol in a public place. In addition to being under the influence of drugs and alcohol, you must have caused a disturbance to others.

What Are the Penalties for DUI and Public Intoxication in Idaho?

The penalties for a Boise DUI depend on how severe the case is. Generally, the higher your BAC, the steeper your punishment is likely to be. It also depends on how many times you’ve committed the offense.

You’re at risk of 6 months imprisonment, $1,000 fines, and license suspension as a first offender. Second and subsequent offenders risk 5-10 years imprisonment, $2,000-$5,000 fines, and license suspension for five years. A conviction may also mandate that you install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.

On the other hand, public intoxication is a misdemeanor that carries up to 6 months imprisonment. You may also be liable to a fine of up to $1,000.

Contact a DUI Attorney Immediately!

If you were drunk cycling, you would not face any charges for DUI in Boise, Idaho. However, you may face charges for public intoxication. If you were drinking and driving, on the other hand, you’re at risk of a DUI conviction. In any case, if you’re faced with any drug-related offense, you must see your lawyer immediately.

Our DUI lawyers at Trilogy Law Group are the best legal professionals for your DUI case. We’ll gather ample evidence to build your defense and ensure that the charges against you are dismissed. In overwhelming circumstances, we’ll fight for a reduced charge and do everything we can to avoid a jail sentence. Contact us now and schedule a free case review ASAP!