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Drink driving laws apply to cyclists even if they don't have a driving licence...

A German student who was breathalyzed at over three time the German limit for alcohol has been banned from using a bicycle, skateboard or any other licence-free vehicle on the public roads, for 15 years. Christopher-Felix Hahn was coming home from a party in Gießen in Hesse in the small hours and although he says he did not feel unduly impaired he did attract the attention of the local police who breathalyzed him.

Hahn paid the subsequent €500 fine and thought that was the end of the matter. In Germany cyclists are subject to the same traffic and drink driving laws as everyone else: German cyclists and and do lose their driving licences for cycling while under the influence. Hahn though did not have a driver's licence and thought that he would merely be barred from applying for one until his record cleared.

However his blood alcohol count was over 0.16 per cent which meant that it had to be reported to the local driver licensing bureau – they required that he undergo a medical and psychological evaluation costing another €500. Depending on which report your read, Hahn either ignored the letter or refused to pay – it was too much money and he had no plans to take out a driver's licence. The net result was the same a ban on using any licence free or leg powered vehicle on the public roads… he can ride a horse though, unfortunately Mr Hahn is allergic to horse hair.

The authorities went on to explain that the earliest this ruling could be revoked was in 15 years time and until then if he wanted to ride a bike he would have to pay €25 every time. There are no reports on wheather Mr Hahn who is studying theatre science plans to emigrate.

Tony has been editing cycling magazines and websites since 1997 starting out as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning road.cc - which he continues to edit today. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes.