Driving down the highway on your motorcycle can seem like a picturesque scene for many of our readers. While motorcycles are fun and exciting, they also come with unique dangers that differ from the typical risks associated with driving a car or truck. Motorcycle crashes are notorious for serious injuries that can occur. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, data from 2013 revealed that motorcyclists are 26 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash. With this in mind, it’s easy to understand why motorcyclists must be fully aware of their surroundings while operating their motorcycles. Unfortunately, riders don’t always take the necessary precautions and can even drive their motorcycles while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Pair this with the innate dangers of motorcycles and you have a recipe for disaster. To shine a light on this issue, Phoenix DUI lawyer, Mark Weingart gives his readers an in-depth look at DUIs and motorcyclists.

Dangers of DUIs and Motorcycles

Before we take a look at why motorcyclists can mistakenly believe they are still safe to drive their bikes while under the influence, let’s discuss the inherent risk of riding a motorcycle in normal conditions. Some of the risks of driving a motorcycle, without factoring in additional risks of driving while intoxicated, include:

  • Merging with Drivers: Motorcyclists can often be unseen by other drivers on the road. Other drivers in cars and trucks can clip motorcyclists and cause serious injuries to riders on the road while merging into a lane.
  • Gravel: Obstacles on the road like sticks, gravel, roadkill, and other various objects can be a motorcyclist’s worst nightmare. Driving over these obstacles can cause motorcyclists to lose control of their bikes and end up in a wreck.
  • Stopping too Quickly: If someone slams on their brakes, motorcyclists won’t enjoy an easy stop like a driver would in their car. Most of the stopping power of motorcycles is in the front brakes, making it easy for motorcycle riders to throw themselves off of their bike when braking too fast.
  • Inclement Weather: Motorcyclists can suffer during inclement weather. Rain not only makes riding less enjoyable because of rainwater being splashed by puddles and other drivers, but it’s also significantly more dangerous. The roads will be slick due to rain or snow, making it more likely for motorcyclists to lose control and get in a crash with another vehicle.

The Ultimate Risk for Motorcyclists? Riding Under the Influence

Some riders are under the false notion that DUI laws don’t pertain to motorcyclists in the same way they do to drivers in vehicles. The truth of the matter is that DUI laws are relevant to drivers operating any motor vehicle. Laws in Arizona recognize a motor-driven cycle as a motorcycle or even a motor scooter with more than five horsepower.

Motorcyclists can often believe that driving while intoxicated isn’t as dangerous as driving a car for several reasons. The bike is self-stabilizing while not at a stop and swerving won’t be an issue because there is more room in the lane. Some riders also justify it by saying that the motorcycle can’t cause the same amount of damage as a car or truck would. These are all dangerous and inaccurate beliefs. A standard motorcycle can weigh from 500 to 1,000 pounds, which can cause a significant amount of damage. The most dangerous outcome of driving a motorcycle while intoxicated is death for the motorcyclist. Collision with another vehicle is dangerous for other drivers, but it is especially dangerous for riders because they don’t have the protection of a regular vehicle. Motorcyclists can easily be thrown from their bikes and endure life-threatening injuries. Driving a motorcycle under normal conditions is already dangerous, so adding a substance that impairs your judgment and slows your reaction time can make it even riskier.

The result of driving your motorcycle under the influence is the same as it would be if you were driving a car or a truck. Motorcyclists can face vehicle and motorcycle license suspension, hefty fees, and more. If you are granted restricted driving with an ignition interlock device, the device will have to be installed on every vehicle you operate, whether it’s your car or motorcycle.

Contact Our DUI Attorney at Weingart Law Firm

If you are facing DUI charges from operating a car, truck, or motorcycle in Tempe or Phoenix, the experienced DUI attorneys at Weingart Law Firm can help. For the best outcome for your case, you’ll need a skilled team with the knowledge and experience to help. To learn more about how Mark Weingart and his team can help your case, contact our office for your one-on-one consultation today!