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5 bicyclists arrested on suspicion of riding under the influence [Updated]

Five bicyclists cruising in Baldwin Hills were arrested early Thursday on suspicion of  riding under the influence, according to the California Highway Patrol.

A group of 15 bicyclists were riding the wrong way down La Cienega Boulevard at Stocker Street about 1:30 a.m. when one hit a center divider, prompting officers to suspect alcohol was involved, the CHP told KTLA-TV Channel 5.

Officers conducted field sobriety tests on the bike riders and arrested five of the group. Their bicycles were confiscated, officials said.

Bicyclists are restricted to the same blood-alcohol limit of 0.08 as drivers.

[Updated at 8:11 a.m.: None of the cyclists wore helmets and few had reflectors on their bikes or clothing, making them “barely visible to passing motorists,” according to the arrest report. The five riders arrested, all between the ages of 18 and 22, were cited and released.]

CHP officers were originally sent to the intersection on a report of a collision between a bike and a car.


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Photo: Bicyclists undergo field sobriety tests Thursday. Credit: KTLA-TV Channel 5.

Comments () | Archives (48)

There seems to be many ill-informed people here. Riding a bicycle under the influence in California is a misdemeanor! (21200.5 VC) The cops were doing their job.

These knuckleheads are making the professional drunk cyclists look bad. Think I'm joking? We're like ninjas. If not for this comment, you would have never known we existed. These dopes need to get back to their Pudding Pops and pogo balls, or whatever the kids are into these days.

>Bicyclists are restricted to the same blood-alcohol limit of 0.08 as drivers.

Are you freakin kidding????????????? So you cant drive, and cant take the bike. Can you walk drunk? Prolly not as they'd get you for public intox...

Soooooooo sleep at the bar? Which begs the question, can you sleep drunk (legally)?

Hope I'm not busted for FUI. (farting under the influence).

A bicyclist can easily reach 20 miles per hour on a flat road, up to 40 going downhill. Hitting a pedestrian at those speeds would be fatal, probably for both parties involved.

I guess next time they should be driving cars?

More stupid puritanical laws designed to punish people who are hurting no one but themselves.

When I drink and bike, I drink and bike alone. Drinking and biking in packs draws unwanted attention from the police. Young guys biking in groups are always trying to show off for one another by doing crazy tricks on their fixed-gear bikes. Boys will be boys. I pretty much only ride my bike or walk when I'm going out to a show or to a bar or to a party at someone's house. You can be pretty inebriated and cruise through town without the cops or anyone paying attention to you -- as long as you're not part of a rowdy group or also-drunk riders. Keep it stealth, people. Have fun out there.

The gentlemen broke several laws; They are law-breakers; They are outlaws, albeit small outlaws, very small, nearly inconsequential.

They posed a risk to drivers and to themselves. They neither stole, nore do damage to property, nor did they injure, nor kill anyone.

They have been arrested. Law enforcement was present, and obliged to do so.

The Bush/Cheney/NeoCon cabal lied, stole, cheated, injured, killed, and murdered.

They have not been arrested. Law enforcement was absent, and obliged not to do so.

One would think "hey..at least they werent driving a car." right? I've had conversations with police about this and people are charged because of a liability issue.

I was asking a Sherrif once why I would get picked up if I decided to walk home as opposed to drive. One of his reasons was that the city in some way shape or form could be held liabile if I fell of the sidewalk and was hit by a car.

The same could be said for this situation. If one of those bikes sort of swerved in front of a car, that drivers reaction is going to swerve out of the way and possibly hit another driver.

Common citation at UCSB.

im sure "drinking and walking" is also illegal and would get you a dui.

what other options do we citizens have to keep the police off of us? Meanwhile im sure at the same time somebody else down the street is getting mugged while walking.

When people are moving faster than they can run, what happens if they dismount from a bicycle? Can they react quickly enough to avoid having their heads impact first? Does a helmet disperse the impact around the skull to reduce fractures or not?

When a person falls under a vehicle rather than rolling over a vehicle, what happens to that person, and what happens to the person driving the vehicle that's involved? So is it wise to ride in front of motor vehicles or not?

Add to that when people are drunk their judgement is impaired and their reaction time is delayed. So even on a bicycle, a drunken rider is more of a menace than a sober rider.

I'm reading a lot of opinions from posters who seem to know less about what they are saying than what they feel.

Good thing the cops nabbed them before something else happened.

WOW! Is this where our tax money is going??? Arresting people that ride bikes drunk??? And is this how much time these Officers have in their hands? I can't believe what I am reading.

Los Angeles is not a bike friendly city. It's hard enough riding in traffic when you're sober. I can understand why it is illegal to ride under the influence, you can cause as easily as if driving a car, although you'll probably do more damage to yourself in this case.

This stretch of road is for all intents and purposes a freeway, no sidewalks, no intersections, and the way people drive, you'd think there was no speed limit. Don't forget these geniuses were riding in the wrong direction, which is also against the law. And bicyclists riding at night are required to have lights.

This has nothing to do with being a "nanny state" which so many love to harp out. It's plain common sense.

Do they get the same punishments as auto DUIs?

DUI on Bike is just another way to raise revenue for the government and make criminals out of non-criminals. Note the State just put into effect another 700+ laws to generate more money and make you and I criminals.

Now they will be diagnoses ALCOHOLICS FOR LIFE and mandated to convert to the very offensive & hostile 12-Step Religious Cult, with their Witchcraft & Sorcery practice of conjuring up a make-believe "Higher Power" to sprinkle One-Day-at-a-Time Magic Dust on them.....

Mad cycling, no lights, wrong way, high speeds, typically late at night - is a recipe for disaster. I see this twice a week on my street.

I know some guys need an outlet to blow off steam - but mixing the two doesn't make sense, and some enforcement is necessary. If you're going to drink, take a cab or the bus or walk.

Be honest readers haveu u ever seen a bike win in an accident?

Riding while drunk = not smart.
Worse, makes us all look like jerks and reckless hooligans. We know that isn't so, but does the average non-cyclist?

I'd personally make them get off their bikes and walk it off, but the police certainly are within their powers to give them a ticket since intoxication laws are the same. But that's not the point.

I'd argue the article is poorly worded and nitpics nonsense. Reflectors? Helmets? So if a drunk rider falls, his lack of a helmet, not his overindulgence in Jim Beam, is to blame? As to reflectors...

Look, most places require you to employ lights at light. Obviously these supplant reflectors, not only in function, but also in mounting space. If you only have so much space on the back or front of your bike to clamp things to you will choose to mount lights and screw reflectors. I myself sometimes have an auxiliary reflector on the brake bridge of a beater fixed gear, or reflective material on my mountainbike -- and most cycling jackets come with reflective trim of some kind -- but the point is, choosing to point this out is dumb. The law does not require reflective material, or even that one wear bright colored clothes. It requires lights at night and sobriety. So why mention the lack of reflective clothing or reflectors? Or helmets? Again, if a drunk rider falls, is it the helmet's fault -- or lack thereof? Any more than if a soder rider is hit by a drunk driver, does it become the sober riders fault because he wasn't wearing a helmet? AA helmet can help in low speed falls. I personally wear one. But it isn't a cure all and never has causual relationship to an accident. No one fgets in an accident because they weren't wearing a helmet (tho most would wish they were wearing one when they do).

Clearly the person who wrote the article was either A) not a cyclist, or B), simply seeing "gee, how much crap can we give bikers?" At least if they'd talked about absence of lights they'd have a point. But relfectors? Gimme a break! I run at least two front lights, one rear one, and a front and rear light on my helmet. Sometimes I even run two rear lights and one on my bag too. Law requires two lights, 1 front and 1 rear. If I'm running five lights, is some cop or ignorant layman who hasn't set foot on a bike in twenty years gonna talk to me about not having reflectors, when I'[m exceeeding the law's requirement's five fold? i had a friend got hit by a car on a custom road frame. idiot woman not paying attention cut him off. on a bike cosing more than hr car. Adn they gave him crap cause he didn't have a bell. A bell? Can any driver hear a bloody bell inside a car with windows closed and stereo on? What kind of poiintless nonsense is that? Same with reflectors, which, by the way, REFLECT light, and so only work if there is another vehicle present who DOES have lights turned on (and is paying attention) and serve absolutely no purpose in allowing you to see the road, or the hazards on it, most of which, like pot holes and debris, are caused by drivers?

Or, let's talk about the genius who wrote the article without knowing much about cycling, or cycling safety devices, jusging by the mention of reflective material.

Obviously they should get tickets. They broke the law and its a just law. No one has the right to ride drunk. Now, let's move on to an article about hit and run drivers, or drunk drivers, or idiots who can't hold a straight line for jack but are driving a BMW...

Reading most of these posts makes me laugh..... people are surely comedians.

Oh, sure, just a bunch of guys out having an innocent good time. The fact is that they could have caused the injury or death of innocent people. I care about the helmets only because the taxpayers will get stuck with the bill for caring for them if they crash. The reflective clothing, just to warn innocent motorists that they are there. If a driver smashed into them, what do you think would happen? He or she would have a damaged car, and maybe be injured. For some reason, I'm doubting these guys would be good for the cost of fixing those situations. Not to mention something really bad.

what about drunk runners operating running shoes while drunk? And drunk skateboarders? Let's clean this city up.

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