Is it illegal to ride a bike when you’re drunk?
Dear Urban Decoder: Is it illegal to ride a bike when you’re drunk?—Araminta Mitchell, North York
Believe it or not, it’s perfectly legal to ride a two-wheeler while intoxicated in Canada—our criminal code’s section on driving while impaired refers only to motor vehicles such as cars, Jet Skis and Zambonis. (Canadians have been charged with knocking too many back while piloting all of the above.) Toronto police often detain visibly inebriated cyclists, but can only charge them with being intoxicated in a public place, punishable with a few hours in jail and a $65 ticket. Drunk biking is treated more strictly in the U.S., where “pedaling under the influence” is a chargeable offense. In one recent case, an offender who didn’t have a driver’s licence was forced to get one in order to have it suspended. According to one study, riding with the legal limit of alcohol in one’s veins increases the risk of a fatal accident by 2,000 per cent. This should be enough to convince you to substitute a cab for your BMX on your next ride home from the bar.