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Similar to driving, it is illegal to ride a bicycle while intoxicated
If you have plans to hang out with friends and consume alcohol, the California Bicycle Coalition would like you to know that it is not OK to drink and ride a bike. "California Vehicle Code Section 21200.5 makes it unlawful to ride a bicycle on a public street or road while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs," the organization said in its recent newsletter. "A bicyclist suspected of riding under the influence is subject to a blood, breath or urine test and, if cited and convicted, faces a $250 fine." The coalition warned the riding a bicycle while intoxicated is equally -- if not more -- dangerous than driving while drunk. "You endanger yourself when alcohol or drugs prevent you from responding quickly and appropriately -- not just to motorists on the road but also to roadway conditions such as broken pavement and debris," the group said. "And if you fall or get hit, you don't have the protection of several thousand pounds of armor." As for other road users, they are not any safer because you are on a bicycle. "Someone else can get hurt trying to avoid hitting you, including friends who may be riding with you," according to the coalition. The group echoed well-publicized messages that urge motorists to designate a driver. "Bicycling is safest for everyone when you can give it your full attention," the organization said. "When you know you can't do that, you'll enjoy yourself more -- and keep everyone safer -- by staying off the bike and letting someone sober help you get where you want to go."