Can You Get a DUI on a Bicycle in South Carolina?

Posted on

You can get a DUI driving a passenger car or truck, but can you get a drunk driving charge on a bicycle in South Carolina?

The DUI defense attorneys in Greenville at Bannister, Wyatt & Stalvey, LLC explain the consequences of biking while drunk.

Can You Be Charged With a DUI on a Bicycle?

Since a bicycle isn’t a motor vehicle, you can’t get a DUI on a bicycle in South Carolina.

The drunk driving law applies only to vehicles propelled by motors. Because a bicycle is propelled by human power, a person on a bicycle can’t be a drunk driver.

DUIs and Bicycles

S.C. Code § 56-5-2930 is the South Carolina drunk driving law. It states that it is unlawful for a person to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

While the South Carolina drunk driving law doesn’t expressly define a motor vehicle, it is defined in Chapter 15 relating to motor vehicle manufacturing and sales.

What is the legal definition of motor vehicle in South Carolina?

S.C. Code § 56-15-10(a) defines a motor vehicle as any motor driven vehicle that requires registration under state law. However, S.C. Code § 38-77-30(9) defines a motor vehicle as every self-propelled vehicle.

Either way, a bicycle is not a motor vehicle in South Carolina for the purposes of DUI. You can’t get a DUI on a bicycle in South Carolina.

Why aren’t bicycles a motor vehicle in South Carolina?

Because it doesn’t have a motor, a bicycle is not a motor vehicle. South Carolina Code § 56-5-160 defines a bicycle as a device propelled solely by pedals, operated by one or more persons, with two or more wheels.

Get Your Case Consultation

Contact Bannister, Wyatt & Stalvey Now

Drunk Driving on a Bicycle – Charges You May Face

Even though you can’t get a DUI on a bicycle, there are other serious charges that you may face.

You may be charged with a violation of S.C. Code § 16-17-530, public disorderly conduct. The law says that public disorderly conduct includes being found on any highway or public place in a grossly intoxicated condition.

In addition, you may be cited for violation of any traffic law that applies to bicyclists. See S.C. Code § 56-5-3420 (rights and duties of bicyclists) and S.C. Code § 56-5-3430 (riding on roadways and bicycle paths).

In addition, riding a bicycle while intoxicated is dangerous. It is never a good idea.

What to Do If You’re Arrested for DUI on a Bicycle

If you’re charged with DUI on a bicycle, contact our drunk driving defense attorneys. Even though you should never be wrongfully charged with drunk driving on a bicycle, law enforcement may be misinformed of the law.

We can help you approach the district attorney to explain and ask for dismissal of the charges.

In addition, we can motion the court to address the issue and the legal definition of bicycle.

If you are charged with DUI while driving a motorized bike or moped, please contact our offices.

S.C. Code § 56-5-130, defining motor vehicles for the purposes of traffic control laws, including drunk driving, was repealed, effective 2018.

The definitions of motor vehicle appearing elsewhere in Title 56 don’t appear to include motorized bikes or mopeds as motor vehicles which would be subject to DUI laws. Our law firm will aggressively fight for your rights.

We will challenge legal definitions and fight for the fair application of law. When you’re facing a DUI charge, whether it is on a bicycle, motorized bike, moped or something similar, we will pursue every avenue to protect your rights.

Call or message the Greenville criminal defense attorneys at Bannister, Wyatt & Stalvey, LLC today.

Why Choose Bannister, Wyatt & Stalvey Law Firm?

With the experience to address complex family law, criminal defense, and real estate matters, our knowledgeable team of attorneys are here to advocate for you. We operate our law offices on three main principles:



We strive to establish personal trust with each and every client.


We operate with the utmost integrity when dealing with clients and the legal community.


We commit to excellence in all aspects of the legal profession.
Bannister, Wyatt & Stalvey, LLC Logo white

Get in touch with us today to evaluate your case. We’re only a call, click, or short drive away.

"*" indicates required fields