Cycling and Alcohol
The Highway Code is quite clear in advising that cyclists should not:
ride when under the influence of drink or drugs, including medicine (so that includes the hot toddy drinkers!)
ride in a dangerous, careless or inconsiderate manner
If caught in the act you can be charged with the following offences:
“cycling on a road or public place whilst under the influence of drink or drugs”
Section 30 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, as amended by the Road Traffic Act 1991, provides the offence of cycling on a road or public place whilst under the influence of drink or drugs. It states:
30(1) A person who, when riding a cycle on a road or other public place, is unfit to ride through drink or drugs (that is to say, is under the influence of drink or a drug to such an extent as to be incapable of having proper control of the cycle) is guilty of an offence
“being drunk in charge of a carriage”
There is no offence of 'being in charge' of a cycle under the Road Traffic Acts, but such conduct may well be an offence of drunk in charge of a carriage under section 12 of the Licensing Act 1872. A bicycle or tricycle is a carriage for the purpose of that section.
you cannot be breathalysed for it
If the evidence of the extent to which a person is affected must be measured by means other than the provision of a specimen of breath, blood or urine, as there is no power to require such a specimen in these circumstances. However, if such a specimen was offered, it is probable that the evidence obtained by analysis of the specimen would be admissible.
you cannot get any points put on your driving licence.
Even the Police like to discuss the finer points of the law on this topic! PC’s Forum
Alcohol decreases co-ordination but heightens confidence, an unfortunate combination if you are on 2 wheels. The dehydrating effects cause the brain to shrink, and leads to hangovers. Really, we should avoid it as it is a poison, but it is so much part of our culture that abstention is just not going to happen for most of us!
You could walk pushing your bike, but CTC’s legal department caution that you might risk being charged with “drunken and disorderly behaviour”! So do the sensible thing, if you intend to go out and have more than a couple of drinks, leave the bike and take a licensed taxi. (Top).