Bike Week Is Here, Keep Your Eyes On The Road
Motorcycles will start rolling into town soon with the start of Bike Week 2019 in Daytona Beach, FL! This annual event draws thousands from across the globe of which many are from out of town and may not quite be familiar with the laws in Florida. The laws don’t change with regard to some basic ones including intoxication, road rage, noise ordinances and partying/open container laws.
Florida requires a motorcycle endorsement which is added to your driver’s license after passing the Basic Rider Course or you can operate on a Motorcycle Only License.
Are You Familiar With Florida Laws?
Florida’s helmet law allows Motorcyclists over 21 years of age to operate or ride upon a motorcycle without wearing protective headgear securely fastened if they are covered by an insurance policy providing for at least $10,000 in medical benefits.
If you have modified your motorcycle’s exhaust system, be aware that Florida has exhaust and maximum sound levels laws. These laws prevent you from modifying the exhaust system so that the noise emitted is above what was emitted by the vehicle as originally manufactured.
Enjoying the ride with your friends, that’s what owning a motorcycle is party about, right? Riding side by side (no more than 2 abreast) is permitted in Florida, but you may not operate a motorcycle between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles (no lane splitting). Also, the operator of a motorcycle shall not overtake and pass in the same lane occupied by the vehicle being overtaken.
If you drink alcohol and drive, you dramatically increase your chance of being in a crash. In addition, if you are pulled over and the officer asks you to take a blood, urine or breath test you are required to comply. Florida has the “Implied Consent Law”. When you sign your driver’s license you have agreed to take these tests upon request. Refusal to take any of the tests will result in an immediate suspension for one year. A second refusal will result in an 18-month suspension.
Following are the penalties that you may encounter should you get pulled over for having a blood alcohol content above the legal limit:
•Fine – $500 to $1000 (blood alcohol level of .15 or higher or minor in vehicle)
•Community Service – 50 Hours
•Probation – Not more than 1 Year
•Imprisonment – Not more than 6 Months
•Imprisonment with BAL of .08 or higher with a minor in the vehicle, not more than 9 months
•License Revocation – Minimum of 180 days
•DUI School – 12 Hours
Penalties for a first DUI conviction in Florida increase dramatically if BAL (Blood Alcohol Level is .15 or higher or if a minor is in the vehicle).
Enjoy your drink away from your motorcycle or vehicle.
Florida’s open container law makes it unlawful to consume an alcoholic beverage or possess an open container of alcohol while:
•driving a vehicle
•a passenger in a vehicle that’s being driven, or
•sitting in a vehicle that’s parked or stopped within a road.
An open container is defined as any alcoholic beverage in a container which has a broken seal or is “immediately capable of being consumed from.”
Violation of Florida Laws
A driver who violates Florida’s open container law commits a noncriminal moving traffic violation. The fine is $60, plus court fees and assessments. The amount of court fees and assessments varies by county. In Central Florida the counties include, Seminole, Lake, Volusia, Osceola, Orange, Sumter and Marion. If the driver elects to have a hearing and is found guilty of the infraction, the maximum fine the court can impose is $500. In addition to fines and fees, an open container violation will add three points to the motorist’s driving record.
A passenger of a vehicle who violates the open container law is also guilty of a non-moving traffic violation. The fine is $30, plus court fees and assessments. The maximum fine is $500 if the passenger is found guilty after a hearing.
With the influx of Bike Week enthusiasts coming to Daytona Beach for this annual event the Florida highways no doubt will experience high levels of road rage. While there are not specific laws against road rage, there are laws against aggressive driving even without physical harm and assault. Allow enough distance behind drivers, and do not stay in the left-hand land except to pass.
Know the laws when you are visiting Florida otherwise it could be a very costly experience for you and you just may be hearing about Bike Week 2019 after you get out of jail as opposed to being a part of all the fun.
Need a bail bondsman in Daytona Beach?
If you are in need of a bail bondsman during Bike Week, call 33rd Street Bail Bonds at 407-425-7200. Our bail bondsmen are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, year-round. We offer bail from the Volusia County Jail.
Need bail now?
We can help you with the bail bond process. Our knowledgeable and experienced bail bondsmen will answer any questions you may have and provide an empathetic ear. We are the oldest bail bond company in Florida helping clients since 1971. We have helped clients all over Central Florida including Orange, Seminole, Volusia and Osceola counties. Please give us a call at 407-425-7200 or 407-425-3303 to start the bail bond process.