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Can you get an OVI while riding a bike, motorcycle or even a scooter?

Now that the temperatures are finally warming up, many Ohio residents are eager to spend time outside. You can do all your favorite outdoor activities again, like hopping on your motorcycle or going for a bicycle ride.

Bike, motorcycle, scooter + bar = bad idea

After a long ride, a drink may sound like a good idea. You are not driving after all, so you should be okay. You may be surprised to learn you can be charged with an OVI, even when you are not driving a motor vehicle. Biking or scootering home from the bar may seem safe, but you are wrong. You can be charged with OVI while riding a bike, motorcycle or even a scooter.

In Ohio, it is illegal to ride a bike if intoxicated by drugs or alcohol. Perhaps even more surprising, you face the same penalties as anyone pulled over for drunk driving in a motor vehicle. The same is true for a motorcycle or even a scooter.

You face the same OVI penalties

For an OVI conviction, you could potentially face:

  • Jail time
  • Fines
  • License suspension or revocation
  • Alcohol treatment
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device
  • A criminal record

Even if arrested riding a bike, motorcycle or scooter, you can lose your driver’s license. If you are charged with OVI again, it will be considered your second OVI. You face tougher penalties for repeat OVI charges.

You have options

A criminal defense attorney can examine the case against you and may be able to uncover errors the police made during your arrest. He or she can also negotiate to try to get your charges reduced. You are also likely worried about your driver’s license, and an attorney may be able to stop a license revocation.

If you are charged with OVI while on a non-motorized vehicle, do not assume your case will not be taken seriously. The charges are the same and so are the penalties. The judge will not take it easy on you just because you were riding a bike or scooter.