Yes! Every year some Penn State students and visitors to Centre County are charged with DUI while riding a bicycle. In Pennsylvania, §1547 of the Vehicle Code mandates implied consent to chemical testing when a police officer has reasonable grounds to believe the person is driving under the influence. If a person is arrested for driving under the influence and refuses to submit to a chemical test the Department of Transportation is authorized to suspend the operating privilege of that person for a period of 12 months. 75 Pa.C.S.A. §1547(b). This will be true even if the person is found Not Guilty by a jury of the DUI offense.
In 2004, Pennsylvania Legislature revised section 1547 of the vehicle code to delete the word “motor” before the word “vehicle.” This amendment changed the definition of vehicle to include bicycles. In Bilka v. DOT, the Commonwealth Court held that section 1547 (implied consent law) applies to operators of bicycles. The Bilka Court further stated that, “operating privilege as defined by the legislature in the Vehicle Code, is not only the privilege to apply for and obtain a driver’s license, but also the privilege to use a vehicle on the highway.” Continue Reading