Alcohol and Drugs

In the US, nearly 30% of motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes in 2013 had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher (NHTSA National Center for Statistics and Analysis, 2013). Using drugs while operating a motorcycle, tricycle, or scooter can also increase your risk of sustaining severe or fatal injuries.

BAC is determined primarily by:

  • Amount of alcohol consumed
  • How fast it is consumed
  • Body weight
  • Gender (men can eliminate about one drink per hour; women about ¾ of one drink per hour)

Drink Ride Lose

Drinking influences your perception, thinking, and coordination. The consequences of drinking and riding are serious and real.  What do you have to lose?

  • Your bike – your motorcycle will be impounded in placed in storage.
  • Your money – including bond, legal costs, and towing fees; up to $10,000 in fines if convicted of DWI; increased insurance premiums if convicted of DWI; lost time from work resulting in lost wages.
  • Your time – minimum 72 hours in jail following arrest; up to 10 years in jail if convicted of DWI; mandatory community service.
  • Your driver’s license – suspension for up to 2 years if convicted of DWI.
  • Your pride – handcuffed and placed in the back of patrol car; a criminal record for the rest of your life; explaining your arrest to family, friends, and co-workers.
  • Your life – live to ride another day!

Never use drugs and ride. Combining alcohol and drugs compounds their effects. It is not legal, safe, or wise to operate a motor vehicle while impaired by marijuana and other controlled or illegal substances, since they can distort your perception of time, space, and speed. This is especially true for motorcycle riders, who must continually make detailed assessments of complex traffic situations and make split-second decisions requiring precise rider input to navigate safely and maintain an adequate safety margins.