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In North Carolina, against all good sense, you can be charged and convicted of DWI — driving while impaired — while riding your bike.  Your common sense might lead you to think that criminalizing the far safer option of riding a bike after consuming alcohol would be encouraged, when the alternative is operating an automobile, but in North Carolina, the state legislature has decided to equate the two.

In fact, under North Carolina law, riding a 25-pound bicycle while impaired by alcohol or other drugs on a North Carolina sidewalk carries exactly the same penalties as driving 3-ton Hummer on I-40.  Make sense?

If your answer is “no,” here’s a link to identify and contact your representatives in the state legislature.  Might be worth a friendly email or phone call.

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Ben is an experienced trial lawyer who earned his law degree from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He was trained in trial practice at the nation’s preeminent Public Defender agency, the federally funded Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, described by United States Attorney General Eric Holder as “the best public defender office in the country.”

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