Drink Cycling?

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Elyob, May 3, 2003.

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  1. Elyob

    Elyob Guest

    A polleesse orifficer told me that they can breatherlise cyclists. Is this true ... ? What's the
    punishment? I thought it required a doctor's verdict and no blood, urine or breath sample could
    be used ...

    Enlighten me ... :)

    --
    ___________________________________
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  2. On Sat, 03 May 2003 16:13:41 +0000, elyob did issue forth:

    > A polleesse orifficer told me that they can breatherlise cyclists. Is this true ... ? What's the
    > punishment? I thought it required a doctor's verdict and no blood, urine or breath sample could be
    > used ...

    Yup, you can be charged with drunk in charge of a bicycle.

    I should imagine the procedure would be identical to that for drink driving, the initial
    breathalyser test isn't enough to charge you with, so you'd be arrested and an intoximeter reading
    would be taken back at the station, which would be used for charging you.

    --
    Huw Pritchard
     
  3. Tim Woodall

    Tim Woodall Guest

    On Sat, 03 May 2003 17:42:00 +0100, Huw Pritchard <[email protected]> wrote:
    > On Sat, 03 May 2003 16:13:41 +0000, elyob did issue forth:
    >
    >> A polleesse orifficer told me that they can breatherlise cyclists. Is this true ... ? What's the
    >> punishment? I thought it required a doctor's verdict and no blood, urine or breath sample could
    >> be used ...
    >
    > Yup, you can be charged with drunk in charge of a bicycle.
    >
    > I should imagine the procedure would be identical to that for drink driving, the initial
    > breathalyser test isn't enough to charge you with, so you'd be arrested and an intoximeter reading
    > would be taken back at the station, which would be used for charging you.
    >
    I'm not sure about the breathlyser though. Police are entitled to stop and breathlyze motorists and
    their passengers (almost) without cause[1].

    There is no "legal limit" for cyclists and therefore the breathlyzer reading itself would not be
    sufficient for a conviction (unless exceptionally high). OTOH, if the police did stop a cyclist for
    being drunk in charge of a cycle and the cyclist refused to give a breathlyser test then this could
    possibly be used in evidence against them.

    Regards,

    Tim.

    [1] I think the general scheme goes - stop someone for a licence check. "observe" the smell of
    alcohol on the breath and hence do a breathlyzer check.

    --
    God said, "div D = rho, div B = 0, curl E = - @B/@t, curl H = J + @D/@t," and there was light.

    http://tjw.hn.org/ http://www.locofungus.btinternet.co.uk/
     
  4. Alex Graham

    Alex Graham Guest

    Tim Woodall wrote:

    > I'm not sure about the breathlyser though. Police are entitled to stop and breathlyze motorists
    > and their passengers (almost) without cause[1].

    Surely drunk passengers are legal?

    So theres no legal limit, but if you are cycling in an irresponsible manner and drunk then you are
    in the sh!t? Is this right?

    cheers,

    --

    -Alex

    ----------------------------------
    [email protected]

    http://alexpg.ath.cx:3353/cycling.php http://www.westerleycycling.org.uk
    ----------------------------------
     
  5. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Sat, 3 May 2003 18:29:42 +0000 (UTC), Tim Woodall <[email protected]> wrote:

    >There is no "legal limit" for cyclists and therefore the breathlyzer reading itself would not be
    >sufficient for a conviction

    I believe this is precisely correct. The breathalyser is not a valid way of measuring whether the
    cyclist is unable to control the cycle properly, which IIRC is the offence. I guess it would be like
    a cager breaking the highway code: it's not illegal, but it is evidence of an offence (DWDC).

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  6. Tim Woodall

    Tim Woodall Guest

    On Sat, 3 May 2003 19:05:51 +0000 (UTC), Alex Graham <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Tim Woodall wrote:
    >
    >> I'm not sure about the breathlyser though. Police are entitled to stop and breathlyze motorists
    >> and their passengers (almost) without cause[1].
    >
    >
    > Surely drunk passengers are legal?
    >
    They are. But I seem to remember a "how well do you know your road traffic law" quiz in a Sunday
    "comic" where this came up and ISTR that the answer was that the police can breathlyze the
    passengers as well as the driver (Presumably so that if the drivers breath test comes up negative
    but the police can smell alcohol then can help eliminate the possibility that the driver is using a
    trick - such as cyclical breathing[1] - to distort the result. It may also be to prevent the driver
    and passenger swapping seats when they see a police car following them - the police will still have
    to show that the passenger was driving when drunk but they can collect the evidence that the
    passenger was drunk without first having to prove the passenger was driving in court which would
    cause obvious problems)

    > So theres no legal limit, but if you are cycling in an irresponsible manner and drunk then you are
    > in the sh!t? Is this right?
    >
    Yup. But the same applies to pedestrians so getting off and pushing your bike doesn't put you in the
    clear if you are that drunk. (I suspect that if you are in control of your bike then you are
    probably not sufficiently drunk to be prosecuted regardless of what your blood alcohol levels might
    be - but that doesn't make it sensible to cycle when plastered - assuming you can)

    Regards,

    Tim.

    [1] Those who move in musical circles will probably know at least one sax player who claims to have
    done this although whether it is really true or possible I don't know.

    --
    God said, "div D = rho, div B = 0, curl E = - @B/@t, curl H = J + @D/@t," and there was light.

    http://tjw.hn.org/ http://www.locofungus.btinternet.co.uk/
     
  7. Simon Mason

    Simon Mason Guest

    "elyob" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > A polleesse orifficer told me that they can breatherlise cyclists. Is this true ... ? What's the
    > punishment? I thought it required a doctor's verdict and no blood, urine or breath sample could be
    > used ...
    >
    > Enlighten me ... :)

    You CANNOT be breathalised for riding a bike drunk, or have a sample taken. It's all in the
    subjective opinion of the officer, i.e. if you are slurring your words or falling over. Simon
     
  8. Iarocu

    Iarocu Guest

    "elyob" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > A polleesse orifficer told me that they can breatherlise cyclists. Is this true ... ? What's the
    > punishment? I thought it required a doctor's verdict and no blood, urine or breath sample could be
    > used ...
    >
    > Enlighten me ... :)

    There is no power to require cyclists to provide a breath specimen. Offence under section 30 of RTA
    1988 is cycling whilst unfit to do so through alcohol or drugs. Level of alcohol in the blood is
    irrelevant. Usual evidence would be manner of cycling and smell of alcohol or signs of drug misuse
    and a doctors opinion (after the cyclist had been arrested).

    cheers Iain
     
  9. Alex Graham

    Alex Graham Guest

    Tim Woodall wrote:

    > [1] Those who move in musical circles will probably know at least one sax player who claims to
    > have done this although whether it is really true or possible I don't know.

    hehe yes I've seen that done playing the trumpet - it looks really surreal.

    never occurred to me you could do that when being breathalised thougl, lol

    --

    -Alex

    ----------------------------------
    [email protected]

    http://alexpg.ath.cx:3353/cycling.php http://www.westerleycycling.org.uk
    ----------------------------------
     
  10. Slapster

    Slapster Guest

    The Offence is: "Unable to control a pedal-cycle, whether it be due to the influence of drugs
    or alcohol"

    You are quite correct - there is no basis in law to **require** a specimen of breath from a cyclist.
    However, conversely, there is nothing to stop a Police Officer **requesting** one. The ball is then
    in the hands of the cyclist - if he is over, it is powerful evidence to support the Officers
    observations that he could not control the cycle. If, on the other hand, it comes back negative, I
    would be surprised if a charge was laid at all. If the cyclist refuses to blow - this cannot be
    entered into evidence in any way.

    --

    Greetings from The Slapster in Cornwall, UK

    The best way to deter predators, is to taste lousy!!

    http://www.slapster.org.uk

    "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > On Sat, 3 May 2003 18:29:42 +0000 (UTC), Tim Woodall <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >There is no "legal limit" for cyclists and therefore the breathlyzer
    reading
    > >itself would not be sufficient for a conviction
    >
    > I believe this is precisely correct. The breathalyser is not a valid way of measuring whether the
    > cyclist is unable to control the cycle properly, which IIRC is the offence. I guess it would be
    > like a cager breaking the highway code: it's not illegal, but it is evidence of an offence (DWDC).
    >
    > Guy
    > ===
    > ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    > dynamic DNS permitting)
    > NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    > work. Apologies.
     
  11. Will Plummer

    Will Plummer Guest

    Re drunk passengers

    As far as I am aware, the police have the power to breathalyse any occupant of a vehicle if nobody
    admits to actually driving - and they can all be subsequently charged.

    I read of a case in South Wales where a coach load of rugby fans were breathalysed after somebody on
    board drove the coach away without the driver.

    Will Plummer
     
  12. Peter Fox

    Peter Fox Guest

    Following on from Slapster's message. . .
    >The Offence is: "Unable to control a pedal-cycle, whether it be due to the influence of drugs
    >or alcohol"
    >
    >You are quite correct - there is no basis in law to **require** a specimen of breath from a
    >cyclist. However, conversely, there is nothing to stop a Police Officer **requesting** one. The
    >ball is then in the hands of the cyclist - if he is over, it is powerful evidence to support the
    >Officers observations that he could not control the cycle. If, on the other hand, it comes back
    >negative, I would be surprised if a charge was laid at all. If the cyclist refuses to blow - this
    >cannot be entered into evidence in any way.
    >
    >
    At last. *You can (in theory) have 10 pints of Headset's Old Wobbler and cycle - provided you are in
    control and observe everyday traffic laws. *You cannot be forced to take a breath test. *There is no
    'limit' *There are no 'points on your driving licence'

    Motor drink-drive laws are based on intoxication not capability to drive or manner observed driving.
    On a cycle it is the other way around.

    FWIW - My personal observations[1] Learning good cycling habits pays off when a six-pint session
    ends 'cos you're not too easily seduced into 'It seemed like a good idea at the time' silly
    manoeuvres (e.g. Perhaps I ought to cycle on the pavement just this once - That puts you into a
    strange new environment which you're not at your best to cope with after a tiring evening.) and also
    your hazard 'radar' continues to tick over quite nicely.

    * If you find yourself waving about the road
    - speed up if you're peddling
    - slow down if you're coasting.
    * Don't get dehydrated - not a joke
    * Wrap up well especially if you have to race to the railway stn then hang around for a train.
    * After a good session followed by a strong ride you'll be on a nice high... ...the alcohol has been
    masked by the adrenaline. No! You can't drive a car even though you feel quite un-pissed. The
    alcohol is still there and will suddenly kick back in after a few minutes.
    * Always count your drinks and respect your personal limits. If three is plenty for you then enjoy
    that rather than risk a stupid and unnecessary accident.
    * If you get distracted by something happening off the road (eg the way the full moon reflects off
    the lake) then STOP and enjoy rather than keep looking around.

    [1] Based on practical experience of country roads day and night.

    --
    PETER FOX Not the same since the exam marking business failed
     
  13. Gonzalez

    Gonzalez Guest

    Alex Graham wrote:

    >Tim Woodall wrote:
    >
    >> I'm not sure about the breathlyser though. Police are entitled to stop and breathlyze motorists
    >> and their passengers (almost) without cause[1].
    >
    >
    >Surely drunk passengers are legal?

    What about tandem stokers?
    --
    remove remove to reply
     
  14. In news:[email protected], elyob <[email protected]> typed:
    > A polleesse orifficer told me that they can breatherlise cyclists. Is this true ... ? What's the
    > punishment?

    it is, and always has been an offence to cycle under the influence of drink or drugs. I'm not
    sure if the old bill can actually *breathalyse* cyclists (there is also the issue that there is
    no defined quantitative maximum alcohol limit with a bicycle as there is with a motor vehicle),
    so in effect the reading is meaningless. They can stop the cyclist and ask them to ride in a
    straight line.

    I remember a case in Reading (around 1994) where a cyclist, after a night consuming copious
    quantities of MDMA (Ecstasy) and other drugs decided it would be fun to cycle through the centre of
    town across every pavement and going the wrong way round the convoluted one-way system.

    He did *not* however realiise that Reading Council and Thames Valley Police had *just* installed
    CCTV in town, and his riding was so erratic it had attracted the attention of the CCTV operator, who
    promptly arranged for a fair number of old bill to turn out and stop him. He was brought before
    court and fined for cycling wihlst unfit due to drink or drugs - ISTR the fine was pretty high,
    around GBP400 plus costs. The impression given by the paper is that (according to CCTV op) this chap
    was really *taking the piss* due to his state of mind (such as weaving in and out of groups of peds
    and kicking at litter bins) rather than just someone who'd been out raving and was riding home
    afterwards.

    As for drinkers, I think there isn't that much of a problem. If the rider was that far gone, they
    would have *fallen off* long before they could become involvedin a serious RTC... ' Alex
     
  15. Dave Kahn

    Dave Kahn Guest

    "Mr [email protected] \(2.3 zulu-alpha\) [comms room 2]" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > In news:[email protected], elyob <[email protected]> typed:
    > > A polleesse orifficer told me that they can breatherlise cyclists. Is this true ... ? What's the
    > > punishment?
    >
    > it is, and always has been an offence to cycle under the influence of drink or drugs. I'm not sure
    > if the old bill can actually *breathalyse* cyclists

    AFAIK they can't ordinarily require a cyclist to give a breath sample. The sections of the Road
    Traffic Regulation Act covering breath tests specifically relate to drivers of motor vehicles, and
    anyone the police reasonably suspect might have been driving a motor vehicle. So if they think
    you've just wrapped your MDG around a lamppost and are now making a getaway on your Brommie or your
    Coker then they certainly can.

    --
    Dave...
     
  16. W K

    W K Guest

    "Gonzalez" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Alex Graham wrote:
    >
    > >Tim Woodall wrote:
    > >
    > >> I'm not sure about the breathlyser though. Police are entitled to stop
    and
    > >> breathlyze motorists and their passengers (almost) without cause[1].
    > >
    > >
    > >Surely drunk passengers are legal?
    >
    > What about tandem stokers?

    They're ok unless they throw up in your back pockets.
     
  17. James Hodson

    James Hodson Guest

    On 6 May 2003 02:04:54 -0700, [email protected] (Dave Kahn) wrote:

    >AFAIK they can't ordinarily require a cyclist to give a breath sample. The sections of the Road
    >Traffic Regulation Act covering breath tests specifically relate to drivers of motor vehicles, and
    >anyone the police reasonably suspect might have been driving a motor vehicle. So if they think
    >you've just wrapped your MDG around a lamppost and are now making a getaway on your Brommie or your
    >Coker then they certainly can.

    Dave

    Here's what I said on 06/06/02: "I asked a PC about this once. IIRC, he said that a drunk cyclist
    could be charged for being drunk and incapable or for furious riding (19th century law - I think)."

    Presumably the same rules apply to drugs.

    <http://www.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&th=4460f12627373b52&rnum=1> for the
    whole thread.

    James

    --
    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/c.butty/Larrau.jpg
     
  18. [email protected] (Simon Mason) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > "elyob" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:<[email protected]>...
    > > A polleesse orifficer told me that they can breatherlise cyclists. Is this true ... ? What's the
    > > punishment? I thought it required a doctor's verdict and no blood, urine or breath sample could
    > > be used ...
    > >
    > > Enlighten me ... :)
    >
    > You CANNOT be breathalised for riding a bike drunk, or have a sample taken. It's all in the
    > subjective opinion of the officer, i.e. if you are slurring your words or falling over. Simon

    A motorist once ran me down from behind. She then left the scene 9I tooke her number). The
    policeman, when he arrived, breathalysed me (fortunately negative - it was 8am!). No action was ever
    taken against the motorist, even though I tried to use the CTC solicitors.

    R
     
  19. Blagger

    Blagger Guest

    Agh, drink cycling tales...

    I once decided it was OK to cycle back from the pub because I found a an off-road route home
    (presuming the police couldn't nick me).

    It gets very dark on gravel tracks under the trees... oh the state of my face and knees the
    following morning

    Si.

    On Sat, 03 May 2003 16:13:41 GMT, "elyob" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >A polleesse orifficer told me that they can breatherlise cyclists. Is this true ... ? What's the
    >punishment? I thought it required a doctor's verdict and no blood, urine or breath sample could
    >be used ...
    >
    >Enlighten me ... :)
     
  20. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > Agh, drink cycling tales...
    >
    > I once decided it was OK to cycle back from the pub because I found a an off-road route home
    > (presuming the police couldn't nick me).
    >
    > It gets very dark on gravel tracks under the trees... oh the state of my face and knees the
    > following morning

    Someone who works in the department I used to work in in Oxford used to cycle home in the dark,
    slightly inebriated, along a canal path. He has, apparently, got wet on more than one occasion.

    Colin
     
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