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Pennsylvania cyclists included in implied consent law

The ruling of a Pennsylvania court regarding a cyclist who refused to submit to blood testing for DUI after being stopped by police while riding his bicycle may have implications for cyclists throughout the state. On September 15, 2011, the man was stopped by police for running a red light on his bicycle shortly before midnight. According to police, the man’s bike also did not have the proper lighting on it. It should have had reflectors on the sides as well as a headlight. Police also described the man as walking unsteadily, slurring his speech and smelling of alcohol. The man refused field sobriety tests or a blood test and allegedly did not believe he could get a DUI while riding a bike. The DUI count was thrown out in court, but the man still lost his driver’s license for 18 months as a result of refusing to submit to the blood or field sobriety tests. The man argued that the implied consent law cannot be applied to bicyclists because no license is required to ride a bicycle. The state court disagreed. In 2004, the law requiring vehicle operators to submit to testing removed the word “motor” before “vehicle.” The court ruled that as a result, a cyclist is subject to the same implied consent as a motorist. This ruling may affect DUI defense in Pennsylvania. In the future, cyclists may be charged with DUI, and the court has established that they must submit to DUI testing just as motorists must. Cyclists may not be aware of this law however, and a cyclist charged with DUI may wish to speak with an attorney about the best approach to defense. Source: Penn Live, “Bicyclists must submit to blood tests in DUI stops or lose their driver’s licenses, Pa. court rules”, Matt Miller, May 29, 2014

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