To avoid a DUI in Arizona, many people believe riding a bicycle is a viable solution because they are not driving a car. Although they are technically correct, drunk bikers may still face criminal consequences for such action.
According to Arizona DUI law, you cannot operate a “motorized” vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Since traditional bicycles are operated with human power, rather than an engine or motor, the state’s law does not apply.
However, a person can face criminal charges for operating a motorized bicycle or an electronic scooter. As long as the motor is running, it would constitute operation of a motor vehicle.
On the other hand, drunk bicyclists may still face other criminal charges, such as reckless endangerment. If you place someone else in harm’s way without directly injuring them, you could be charged with endangerment.
For example, if you are biking while intoxicated and end up in the middle of the street, causing a vehicle to swerve out of the way and strike another car, this is considered endangerment. Reckless endangerment is a Class 1 misdemeanor that carries a maximum six-month jail term and a fine of up to $2,500.
Although you cannot get charged with public intoxication in Arizona, you can be taken into protective custody and transported to either a treatment center or jail if you are found to be publicly intoxicated.