Sure, driving a car after drinking too much can put you at risk of a DUI. But what about driving around on a tractor after a couple of cold beers on a hot day? Or riding your bike home after having some drinks at the Atlanta Dogwood Festival? Or even riding a jet ski across Lake Lanier? Even though none of those are cars, they may all be subject to Georgia laws against operating while under the influence.
Under Georgia law, any number of things you see on the road could be considered a vehicle. This includes a moped, scooter, bicycle, motorcycle, 4-wheeler, bus, school bus, limousine, taxi-cab, tractor, or even a cement mixer. Even things that aren't “vehicles” under Georgia Code, Title 40, railways, planes and boats all have regulations that prohibit operating them under the influence of alcohol.
The definition of a vehicle under the Georgia law which covers motor vehicles and traffic means: “every device in, upon, or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, excepting devices used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.”
Bikers and Boaters Under the Influence
Most people consider biking under the influence of alcohol to be much safer than driving drunk. However, even though you don't need a Georgia driver's license to ride a bike, the police can still arrest you for biking under the influence. Georgia traffic laws apply to cyclists, and bikes are treated like vehicles. If the police spot a wobbly cyclist, or someone riding around at night without a light, they may question the biker. If they suspect alcohol may be making it less safe for the cyclist, they may issue a DUI.
When it comes to boating, the Georgia Boat Safety Act prohibits anyone from operating a watercraft while intoxicated. Waterway officials can stop any boat or jet ski for a safety check, they don't even need reasonable suspicion to do so. Like with motor vehicles, a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher is a per se violation. For underage boaters, Georgia has a zero tolerance policy for driving and boating under the influence for individuals under 21 years old.
Boating under the influence charges can bring a fine of up to $1,000. A conviction will mean having your boating privileges suspended for a year, and undertaking an alcohol or drug abuse program. If there is a child under 14 in the boat when the operator gets a BUI, they may face charges of child endangerment, with additional fines and possible prison time.
Atlanta DUI Lawyer for Any Vehicle DUI
Operating under the influence of any type of vehicle is usually prohibited; however, each kind of DUI case should be handled in its own way. This is why you should contact an Atlanta DUI attorney, who understands how boating and flying under the influence is different from driving. There are separate regulations in the law, they are prosecuted uniquely, and there are different available defenses and penalties. If you have been charged with a BUI, biking under the influence, or flying under the influence anywhere in Georgia, we will fight for your rights.