The Denver police are planning on targeting drunk biking. The enforcement policy allows for bike riders to be charged for DUI as well as those getting behind the wheel of a car.
This change in enforcement procedures apparently came about following an accident between a scooter and a bicycle rider where the rider of the scooter was charged with DUI while the bicycle rider was not charged. Following a complaint by the rider of the scooter, Denver officials reexamined their enforcement policies and decided upon making a change.
In any case, bicyclists may now be charged with DUI or DWAI while riding their bicycle in the Denver area. And just as in any other stoppage for DUI or DWAI, arresting officers are required to have probable cause before pulling such individuals over.
One bicycle riding advocate has concerns regarding the new policy, however. This advocate feels that riding a bicycle at least provides an alternative to getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. Though riding a bicycle while intoxicated is not ideal, it certainly should not be put on par with getting behind the wheel while drunk. “My concern is, is this the best use of resources?” he asked. “And is this a menace?”
Though when passing laws, legislators would like to treat every offense alike, there are unique circumstances to every arrest that the law may not cover. Criminal attorneys defend each individual case rather than try to defend every single offender. Because someone may be guilty regarding one scenario does not mean another suspect is necessarily guilty as well under other circumstances.
Source: Denver Westword, “Drunk biking targeted by Denver: Advocates worry policy could encourage drunk driving,” by Sam Levin, Nov. 26, 2012
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