Drunk cycling is a traffic risk

Finns are ready to jump on their bikes when drunk, even though alcohol plays a significant role in accidents involving bicycles and electric scooters. Drunk cycling or scooting will be classed as a crime if, for example, the rider hits a pedestrian with their bike or scooter.

One in four Finns has been guilty of drunk cycling. Finns are also quite tolerant towards drunk cycling, as 45 per cent of Finns think it’s acceptable to ride a bike whilst drunk.

A study shows that alcohol was involved in one out of three cycling accidents that led to personal injuries. Alcohol also plays a major role in accidents involving electric scooters. Most accidents occur on weekend nights during the summer months.

Drunk cycling is a crime under law

Drunk cycling and scooting are classed as drunk driving and are a crime under law. If a drunk cyclist or scooter rider endangers the safety of another person, they can be fined or sentenced to up to three months in jail. The criteria for this crime will be met if, for example, the rider hits a pedestrian with their bike or scooter.

How does alcohol affect your ability to ride a bike or scooter?

A blood alcohol concentration of less than 0.25 can already make you less attentive and vigilant. Higher blood alcohol concentrations make you more clumsy, lower your reaction time and affect your coordination. Impaired judgement and increased risk-taking will also make you more likely to have an accident. Read more about the effects of intoxication.

Tips for safe cycling and scooting

  • Don’t drink and ride a bike or electric scooter, for both your own and others’ safety. If you do drink, leave your bike or scooter in the parking lot.
  • Always obey traffic regulations and use common sense. Scooting is subject to the same laws as cycling.
  • Pay attention to other road users and always adjust your speed to the situation.
  • Always wear a helmet.
  • Don’t forget other safety gear. A lamp and reflectors are a cheap form of life insurance at night and in low-light conditions.

Sources:
Finlex
Finnish Road Safety Council (Liikenneturva)
Terveyskirjasto