Biking Under the Influence (BUI)

VC 21200

“A person riding a bicycle or operating a pedicab upon a highway has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this division, including, but not limited to, provisions concerning driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages or drugs”


California Vehicle Code section 42001 allows universities and state colleges to set a fine schedule for bicycle violations occurring in their jurisdictions that would superseded the Judicial Council penalty schedule.

In Yolo County the consequences for a BUI are a fine of up to $730 and possible documentation on your driving record. If you are under 21, your driving privilege will be suspended for one year or delayed for one year once you are eligible to drive.


In California, a bicyclist has all the rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle drivers, which is why you can't ride against traffic. It is against the law to ride a bicycle on a street or highway while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

Vehicle Code 23152(a); Vehicle Code 23152(b)

Vehicle Code 23152(a): “It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage to drive a vehicle.”

Vehicle Code 23152(b): “It is unlawful for any person who has 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle.” This includes anyone under 21 years old who has a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.01 or more. 


Most DUI’s are misdemeanors, while some are felonies. The consequences vary depending on whether the offense is a first time DUI or repeat DUI. It also depends on your BAC and if you have caused harm to anyone.

  • Fine: DUI’s cost the driver approximately $10,000. This includes all of the fines and fees that one accrues including the base fine, bail, court fines, licensing feels, increased insurance premiums, etc.
  • 4 month to one year suspension of license depending on first or subsequent offense
  • Jail time
    • 1st violation: imprisonment for not less than 96 hours, nor more than six months
    • 2nd violation: not less than 90 days nor more than a year
    • 3rd violation, not less than 120 days nor more than one year

If you kill someone, you will likely face manslaughter or murder charges, which can include a lifetime in prison depending on your case.


Notice the first code is subjective; the driver must consume alcohol to a degree that rendered them unsafe to drive. You can be given a DUI even if you are well under the legal limit. 

A DUI arrest goes on your criminal record and can impact future employment. 

Felony DUI or DUI with Injury

VC 23153

A DUI can be a felony if someone was injured, you had at least 2 or more subsequent DUIs within a ten year period, or one previous felony DUI.



-2-4 years in state prison

-Fine not less than 1,500 dollars nor more than 5,000

-Up to 5 years license suspended



-Not less than 90 days, nor more than one year (one more year of jail per each injured victim – section 23558 – up to 3)

-Must surrender the driver’s license for at least one year


When you drive under the influence, you risk not only harming yourself but harming others. If you harm someone else, the consequences become even more harsh.