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VIC Riding a pushy while pissed?

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' at netrider.net.au started by Noticibly F.A.T, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. Hey all,

    I've been getting in to riding my pushbike around town as a way of getting fit, and dodging all those tourists when I need to get to the shops (my driveway is on the GOR so it's a prick to pull out of in summer).

    Anywho, there are many people who like to offer their oppinions on this subject. I'd like to know if anyone actually knows if you can be charged with >.05 etc whilst riding a pushbike. Please cite legislation if you can.


    1) Riding a push bike, whilst over .05, on a road (not a freeway)
    2) Riding a push bike, whilst over .05, on the grass/side of road (no footpaths here)

    Futher to the above, is it a legal requirement to have a light on your bike at night? And if so, would a torch suffice?

    I'm aware you could be charged with being drunk in a public place, but I'm not concerned about that. I don't get drunk enough that I look drunk lol.

  2. The change was made in the wake of the elderly guy killed by the hell ride a couple of years back. A bicycle is now a road vehicle and is subject to all road vehicle infringements and fines. I don't think demerit points apply.

    So mobile phone, DUI, speeding etc etc are all applicable.

    It was very very well discussed on the forums at www.bv.com.au
  3. The WA Road Traffic Code (which is based on the Australian Road Rules so should be similar across the country) states:-

    On lights, it states:-

    So yes, a torch would be OK for the front light, although I doubt if hand held would cut it. You'll still need a rear light (far more important than the front IMHO) and a reflector, though.

    So the booze regulation doesn't show a specific limit, although I daresy 0.05 or 0.08 would be taken as a de facto yardstick. I suspect you'd have to be pretty obviously pissed before the coppers would take an interest. Even if they do, it's $100 (or might be $150 these days) and no effect on your motor vehicle licence. Not cheap but not world ending.
  4. I'd warn against bicycling drunk simply because it's dangerous as all get out (i.e. blink your eye and you've gone from the far lefthand side of a lane, to its far righthand side). With your balance and coordination impaired you can get yourself into trouble very quickly without even knowing it.

    I did it twice and decided 'never again', I honestly think you're safer driving than cycling in that situation (because you're more stable).
  5. WA a bloke got done for DUI on a motorised lawn mower on his nature strip.
    NT, A bloke got done for DUI on a Camel.
    These were front page news at the time, The charges stood,

    I dont have records, but quite a few have been done on pushbikes for DIU,
  6. Not quite the case Rob..

    A lot of the traffic infringments have been made the same as motorvehicles like running a red light.
    The other main thing then changed is that a cyclists can be charged for a different offence, depending on the circumstance, to what that rider who killed the elderly guy got charged with.

    But if you look at VicRoads penalties below, a cyclists still cannot be charged for speeding or drink driving.
    All DUI offences are for motorvehicles.
    Bicycles are classed as vehicles only.....

    I suppose if you're drunk, they could pin for being drunk in a public place.
    As a cyclists as well as a motorcyclists, I'd like to see a more serious charge for being drunk on a bicycle...

  7. I'm not sure what it is now, but in NSW you could get charged under DUI rather than CPA. There were a couple of well reported cases, but the cops generally leave you alone so long as you are not ridiculously drunk and causing a danger to yourself and/or others.

    Of course you can always find a prick in the police force.

    But as Grumply points out, you don't realise how much you use your balance on a push-bike until you try to actually ride drunk. I've seen moderately intoxicated people, who were good bike riders, incapable of getting the bike going.
  8. I do have vague memories of riding in small circles in a patch of floodwater before gently falling over sideways after an evening on the sloe gin when I was about 16 :D.
  9. :? Ok, happy to defer to you on that mate. It's definitely not the way it came out in the media!

    Here's some discussion on bv forum about the laws applicable:


    There's probably been more since then.
  10. I don't know about the changes as a result of the Hell Ride fatality, but I know absolutely that you can be charged for DUI (or its equivalent) when riding a pushbike, or even riding a horse.

    My cousin rides horses in North East Victoria, and a friend of hers was booked for riding DUI in the last year or so. She investigated the issue at the time, because she used to ride down to the local pub, have a few drinks, and then ride home (the horse knew the way, and it is in a small town). She decided to change her habits a bit so as not to be booked herself.

    There have also been several publicised DUI charges for bicycle riders in the last few years in Victoria. I think the last was an old bloke in Armadale, Melbourne. But I'm going from memory, which could be inaccurate. Oh, the old bloke got abusive wth some people, which brought him to a copper's attention.

    On bicycle lights: You can get cheap, bright flashing red rear lights and front white lights for bicycles. Get them! If you are riding on the GOR, get a reflective vest as well.
  11. I know for a fact you can in the ACT be charged for drink driving on a bicycle. The legal definition of "vehicle" in the ACT includes bicycle and animal-drawn vehicle under the Road Transport (Alcohol and Drugs) Act 1977. However you must be on a public street, whereas for a car/motorcycle it can be a street or public place.

    As for Vic, why don't one of you Vic guys give this place a call and ask?

    Victoria Police
    State Bicycle Coordination Unit
    Victoria Police Centre,
    637 Flinders Street, Melbourne Vic 3005
    Ph: (03) 9247 6666

    Vic road rules for cyclists: http://www.virtualbike.com.au/?Section=3.2.1
  12. In my training as a bike ed instructor at schools.
    We had opportunity to speak with cops in regards to laws, etc...

    And he stated that in VIC, there is no charge for cycling DUI or speeding in VIC....
    Most of the bicycle charges are for disobeying traffic signs, not wearing helmet, unroadworthy bike, lights, etc.
    They're all on the link I posted on the 6th post of this thread.
    It has all the Bicycle penalties listed seperately to motorvehicle penalties.

    But as I said, if you're caught on a bicycle drunk, they can only charge to you for being drunk in a public place or some other public related charge..
  13. Id like to see if anyone has been booked for speeding on a bicycle
  14. I know several places in WA where someone of even moderate fitness could exceed the posted speed limit fairly comfortably.

    Hell, I can think of one place where even I can, and do so regularly.
  15. Over the years I've gone down Mt Macedon many times through Macedon (60kph zone) at around 80kph.
    At least twice, passed cops and they did nothing except for once when one yelled at me to slow down as I passed....

    Err, I didn't. Had to make up for the grind up there in the first place!
    Edit: And just remembered, once got told by a cop who pulled up beside me at lights at the bottom of Mt Dandy Fertree Gully who said I was speeding but only told to slow down.
  16. joedelosa, you might want to look in the Vic Summary Offences Act, 1966, section 16(b): being drunk in charge of a carriage (or a horse or cattle or a steam engine), and the definition of carriage could be extended to include bicycle.

    Dictionary for carriage: "a wheeled vehicle for conveying persons".

    Link to legislation
  17. Had a look at the your link.
    Can't find anywhere on the legislation where the definition of a carriage can be extended to include a bicycle...

    Bicycles have always been classed as a vehicle.. (but not a motorvehicle)

    But remember, there's enough on that legislation for prosecution in regards to being drunk regardless if you're on foot or on a bicycle....
  18. I'd suggest you think about what a "carriage" is :) It's not in that legislation per se, but a carriage is a word which means a wheeled vehicle for conveying persons. I'd wager that it's been used before in Vic to prosecute a drunken pushbike rider.
  19. from http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/roadsafety/bicycles/index.html
  20. I know it has for a horse and a bicycle.

    But I don't care enough to do the research. [-( :)