ASK A COP — Can bicycle riders get DWI tickets?

Published 12:14 am Wednesday, September 7, 2022

James asks: On the road the other day I observed a bicycle rider doing whatever he wanted to, like going from lane to lane and not stopping for red light nor stops in a residential neighborhood. This bothered me because he appeared to be drunk and wasn’t wearing a helmet. He had no regard for his safety or others on the road. Do bicycle riders have to stop at a red light? Can they be arrested for DWI? Is there a law Biking While Intoxicated?

Answer: I’m hoping that you were able to contact the local law enforcement agency to address the bicycle rider’s unlawful riding behavior. What you described were definitely violations for riding a bicycle in the state of Texas. ALL bicycle riders are supposed to obey ALL traffic control devices, like stop signs and traffic lights. No one riding a bicycle should operate a bicycle under the influence of an intoxicating substance. Although a bicycle is a vehicle, it’s NOT a motor vehicle, so if a rider is found operating a bicycle under the influence of an intoxicating substance, he or she could be arrested for another violation like public intoxication. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 2,174 reported crashes in 2021 involving bicycle riders where 80 were fatal crashes. So bicycle riders need to pay specific attention to ALL laws regarding to bicycle road safety.

Officer Rickey Antoine

Dave asks: I have been a licensed driver in the state of Texas for more than 42 years. My granddaughter took your class and told me you advised if you are being stopped, “DO NOT EXIT THE CAR UNTIL TOLD TO BY POLICE.” This is directly opposite of what I’ve been told since I’ve been driving. I was under the thought that you should get out and meet the officer. Have things changed? Is she right?

Answer: She is 100% correct, at least as far as I am concerned. Keep in mind there is a 99 percent chance the police officer stopping you doesn’t know who you are. So for you to exit your vehicle and walk towards the police unit will probably cause tension at the scene that wouldn’t have occurred had you remained in your vehicle until otherwise instructed to do so by the officer. So, Dave, not quite sure how they handled that 40+ years ago, but I can inform you today: STAY in your vehicle until instructed to do otherwise. Remember to keep your hands in plain view and DO NOT get busy trying to find documents until told to do so by officer

Gail asks: I’m planning to go to Louisiana with my granddaughter, and she has a valid learner’s permit issued in Texas. Will she be allowed to operate a motor vehicle with her permit while we’re in Louisiana?

Answer: It is true that once you are licensed in ANY state in the United States of America, you are privileged to operate a motor vehicle in ALL states in this great nation. On the other hand, learner’s permits are not viewed the same. Most states will allow a learning driver to operate in their state legally as long as they follow the restrictions given by the issuing stateYour granddaughter is welcomed by the state of Louisiana to drive on their roads as long as she abides by their laws, and her restriction of having a licensed operator in the front seat over the age of 21. I’m grateful you sought information because every state is not so kind to learning out-of-state drivers with permits. Here’s a list of states that will NOT allow learning drivers: Arizona, District of Columbia, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vermont.

Join Me, Officer Rickey Antoine and the CREW: Stephen “Buzzard Boots” Mosley, Lelo “mouth of Hwy 69/73” I Washington & Tejas “Lil Man” Morning Star for Ask A Cop live, on KSAP 96.9 FM The Breeze every Tuesday from 1-3 p.m. and beyond. Listen as we discuss in detail “Ask A Cop.” You can tune in at ksapthebreeze.org. Call in your question live at 409-982-0247. You can make an comment or question via TEXT at 409-748-6106. Email rickey.antoine@portarthurtx.gov or call 409-983-8673 and leave a voice mail. Mail them to: Ofc. Rickey Antoine, 645 4th Street, Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you see me in public, feel free to “Ask A Cop!”