You can get a DUI on a bike. Or on a horse. Or on a boat.
It is important to understand what the law is so that we know how to follow it. In this blog, we will address the different ways that you can get a DUI or a DWAI in Colorado. Colorado law states that “[a] person who drives a motor vehicle or vehicle under the influence of alcohol or one or more drugs, or a combination of both alcohol and one or more drugs, commits driving under the influence.” C.R.S. §42-4-1301(1)(a) (emphasis added).
So what is the definition of a “motor vehicle” or “vehicle?” A “motor vehicle” is “any self-propelled vehicle that is designed primarily on the public highways and that is generally and commonly used to transport persons and property over the public highways or a low-speed electric vehicle…” C.R.S. § 42-1-102(58). For purposes of DUI, the definition specifically includes farm-tractors, off-highway vehicles, and low-powered scooters.
But what about a bike? Well, the DUI statute applies to “vehicles” in addition to motor vehicles. In Colorado, a “vehicle” is defined as “a device that is capable of moving itself, or of being moved, from place to place upon wheels or endless tracks.” It specifically includes bicycles and electric-assisted bicycles. It also specifically excludes wheelchairs and snowmobiles. C.R.S. §42-1-102(112).
So, based on the definition of vehicle, you can get a DUI in Colorado in a car or truck. You can also get a DUI on a bike, moped, or even a skateboard. You cannot, however, get one in a wheelchair.
But that is not all. Colorado also makes it a crime to operate a “vessel” under the influence of alcohol. A vessel, in turn, means “every description of water-craft used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on the water, other than single-chambered air-inflated devices or seaplanes.” C.R.S. §33-13-102(5). This means you can get a DUI if you are driving basically anything that moves on water, including paddle or rowboats.
So, back to horses. In Colorado, it is actually illegal for a pedestrian to walk on or be on the portion of the highway used by motor vehicles if that person is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. C.R.S. §42-4-805(3). That law also applies to people riding animals on the portion of highway used by motor vehicles. In short, you can’t walk drunk on the road, nor can you ride an animal while drunk on the road. Importantly, these two crimes are Class B Traffic Infractions, which is significantly less serious than other forms of DUI.
Long story short, do not drive a car or truck while under the influence. Do not ride a bike or skateboard while under the influence. Do not operate a boat under the influence. Do not walk down the middle of the road under the influence. And do not ride a horse or other animal down the middle of the road while under the influence. Of course, if you do or if someone accuses you of doing so, call a DUI lawyer at Cheney Galluzzi & Howard today for a free consultation! Life Happens. We can Help.