4 Bike Laws You May Not Know About

When Nature Calls

Public urination is sometimes a necessity during your long weekend rides. But can you get in trouble for it?

It's really subjective, but the bottom line is this: Make sure you are going somewhere as private as possible. There's a difference between relieving yourself in the woods of a remote area and doing it in the middle of the street in lower Manhattan. If you take steps to make sure nobody can see you, and more importantly, that nobody would be offended by you, you'll be OK in most scenarios.

One more thing: if a cop busts you and charges you with indecent exposure, get a lawyer. That is a serious charge that can land you on the sex offenders list.

More: Dealing With Urination Problems Before a Race

BUI is a Crime (in Many States)

I knew a guy in college who would ride his bike anytime he knew he would be drinking, because he didn't want to drive his car while intoxicated. While it was great that he didn't want to drink and drive, he was still breaking the law.

Most states have concluded that people riding a bicycle have all the rights and duties of those driving a vehicle. Those "duties" include not being on the road while intoxicated.

Truth be told, states enforce these laws differently. In Oregon, biking under the influence is treated identically to driving under the influence. Other states like Utah will punish those cycling under the influence, but won't restrict driving privileges if you're convicted. California punishes biking under the influence by a fine. A few states don't consider drinking and cycling an offense at all. Washington won't punish cyclists under the influence, but do have a right to impound the bike and drive the cyclist home if he's a threat to public safety.

More: Important Safety Tips for Bike Commuters


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