How Texas DWI Enforcement Applies to Motorcycles
For riders throughout the U.S., motorcycles are more than a means of transportation. Owning and riding a bike can be a hobby, passion, and part of your identity. However, you need to remember that motorcycle riders follow the same laws for driving while intoxicated as everyone else on the road. If you are caught operating your bike with a blood alcohol concentration greater than 0.08 percent, you will face a misdemeanor criminal charge that could result in jail time, a fine of as much as than $2,000, and a driver’s license suspension. The suspension would also affect your eligibility to operate other vehicles.
Signs of DWI on a Motorcycle
Operating a motorcycle requires a different set of skills than driving a car, including the ability to keep yourself balanced and shift your body during turns. Because of this, police officers are looking for different signs that may indicate motorcycle riders are intoxicated. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration describes these signs as “cues” and has two categories of cues that it instructs officers to watch for in motorcycle riders. According to an NHTSA study, “excellent cues” predicted a motorcycle DWI half of the time and include:
- Difficulty keeping balance when stopped or dismounting the bike
- Drifting during turns and curves in the road
- Unsteady turns
- Unnecessary weaving
- Inattention to surroundings
- Erratic behavior
There is another set of “good cues,” which predicted a motorcycle DWI in 30 to 50 percent of cases. They include:
- Reckless decisions
- Erratic movements while trying to ride straight
- Following too close to other vehicles
- Running stop signs or traffic lights
- Going the wrong way on roads
- Not using vehicle lights at night
The study stated that speeding is not a strong indicator of a motorcycle DWI because motorcycles have a tendency to exceed the speed limit. While most DWI incidents involved speeding, only 10 percent of the riders stopped for speeding were also charged with DWI.
Contact a San Antonio DWI Defense Lawyer
Demonstrating any of the above cues is not enough evidence to prove that you were riding your motorcycle while intoxicated. Prosecutors will also rely on the police officer’s description of your behavior after you were stopped and the results of chemical tests. A San Antonio DWI defense attorney at the Law Offices of Sam H. Lock is experienced at identifying evidence that will weaken the prosecution’s argument and increase your chances of avoiding conviction. To schedule a free consultation, call 888-726-5625.