Drinking and cycling

fair weather cyclist

Well-Known Member
Have you ever been stopped when you were a bit tipsy on your bike? Maybe you went down the pub for a pint, 1 pint turned into 7 and off you went...just a little wobbly?

I'm asking because I'm planning a visit in a renowned and very low populated island of Scotland, famous for its whisky. We're going by car, but bringing the bikes with us. The island is small enough to be able to cycle from a distillery to the other, and cycle back to the hotel. Obviously would be nice to do the distillery tours and whisky tasting sessions, although not sure how straight I can cycle after 9-12 drams of delicious single malt :laugh:

Have any of you ever attempted such a thing?
 

Dogtrousers

Kilometre nibbler
I'd look at it from a safety point of view first. If you're planning to get rat-shoot is it safe/sensible to ride a bike? If you're just planning to get tipsy and the area is low traffic maybe adjust your assessment. Never mind whether plod is going to stop you.
 

CXRAndy

Guru
Location
Lincs
Have you ever been stopped when you were a bit tipsy on your bike? Maybe you went down the pub for a pint, 1 pint turned into 7 and off you went...just a little wobbly?

I'm asking because I'm planning a visit in a renowned and very low populated island of Scotland, famous for its whisky. We're going by car, but bringing the bikes with us. The island is small enough to be able to cycle from a distillery to the other, and cycle back to the hotel. Obviously would be nice to do the distillery tours and whisky tasting sessions, although not sure how straight I can cycle after 9-12 drams of delicious single malt :laugh:

Have any of you ever attempted such a thing?
We have cycled to many a pub and maybe 2 or 3. Never sloshed, but might be over the limit. We live in the countryside and travel on deserted unlit lanes. Our bikes run dynano German lights to illuminate our way home :okay:
 

T4tomo

Guru
Yes a bit tipsy, but still in control of the bike is fine, done it lots. You're more danger to yourself than others and drunk in charge of bike isn't really an offence - yes there are technically the odd ancient law you can be done under, but the chances of plod both encountering you and taking any action is miniscule.
 
The drunkest I have ever been on a bicycle was in Ireland on the Beara peninsular, in a convoy of about 6 drunkards from pub to hostel. I felt in full control of of bicycle at all times occifer, which is what you might expect any rider cycling under the influence to say. If you avoid speeding, and are coherent enough to balance , and in the middle of nowhere, you can get away with it.
 

PaulSB

Legendary Member
Same criteria as driving. I don't drink/drive or cycle/drive. It's dangerous to oneself and other road users.

Drinking after a ride, which depletes one's energy, hydration levels etc. is likely to have a greater impact than usual. I've done it once. Never again.
 

Brandane

Rain magnet.
Location
Costa Clyde.
Have any of you ever attempted such a thing?
Yes, frequently in my younger days. It is perfectly legal unless you are drunk to the point of being incapable of looking after yourself. Which is open to interpretation, but you would need to be pretty much out of it to attract the attention of the law. Fill your boots, it's a way of life on the islands :cheers:.
 

CanucksTraveller

Macho Business Donkey Wrestler
Location
Hertfordshire
The group I ride with basically use the ride as purely a social vehicle with pub stops being the whole point. We'll do maybe 30 miles and have two stops out in the country, so literally every ride will see two pints drank at least, with a pub every ten miles or so. I don't think any of us ever feel worse for wear for having one at each stop. I think it's actually isotonic, or something.

I also cycle to my favourite pub now and then and have 3 to 4 pints of beer and some quiet time with a book, but I do limit myself to that amount, once my sensible head kicks in I call it a day. And it's a quiet route back and only 2 miles, so I'm okay with that.

It's a judgement thing isn't it, you just have to be a bit sensible. Once your balance and awareness have been affected it's probably not a good idea to be on the roads.
 

glasgowcyclist

Charming but somewhat feckless
Location
Scotland
drunk in charge of bike isn't really an offence - yes there are technically the odd ancient law you can be done under
Riding a bicycle while drunk is very definitely an offence though, albeit one that is rarely prosecuted. The relevant legislation isn't ancient either, it's the same one currently used to prosecute dangerous driving and drunk/drugged driving, i.e. the Road Traffic Act 1988.

See S30 for the offence of drunk cycling:

30 Cycling when under influence of drink or drugs.
(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.
(2)In Scotland a constable may arrest without warrant a person committing an offence under this section.
 
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