Booze and bikes don't mix: Avoiding a fatal cyclist collision -


Booze and bikes don't mix: Avoiding a fatal cyclist collision

Here is a warning for drivers: Experts say drunk cyclists are involved in 25% of cycling fatalities on the road.

Emergency room doctor Mark Morocco says there's actually a reason why. "A lot of folks think that riding a bike is the easier thing to do and it's safer. But in reality it takes a lot more coordination to stay balanced on your bike. If you're drinking your balance and coordination is a lot worse and if you're riding and you get hit by something, you're like a piñata. There's nothing between you and the rest of the world."

The consequences can be permanent—brain injury or worse.

Morocco says, "When we have bike accidents that involve alcohol almost none of those people wear helmets. It goes along with sort of the risk taking behavior that makes this seem like a sensible thing to do."

Not only is biking under the influence dangerous,  just like with drunk drivers you could be cited or even arrested.  

Lieutenant Hamilton says, "In the State of California, like in many other states, it is illegal to operate a bicycle while you're under the influence of an alcoholic beverage. You can be fined up to $250, but more importantly, if you're under the age of 21, you can actually have your license suspended for up to one year so it does have consequences."

Lieutenant Hamilton says intoxicated cyclists exhibit the same kind of behavior that drunk drivers do. "You're going to see them probably going from side to side. They're not going to be going in a straight line, more than likely they're going to be breaking their bicycle way too late."

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