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Drunk cyclists face bike ban in German university town

The Local: Drunk cyclists face bike ban in university town

9 Mar 12

Drunk cyclists weaving their way around the university town of Münster should be prepared to pay heavily for paralytic pedalling – the town council is banning them from their bikes, with a €500 fine for repeat offenders.

The town has a massive problem with drunk cyclists, said Martin Schulze-Werner, head of the town public order office.

New rules will mean that any cyclist stopped with a blood alcohol level of more than 1.6 parts per thousand will be banned from their bikes.

If they are discovered ignoring a ban, they will be fined at least €500, said Schulze-Werner.

He said of the eight fatalities among cyclists last year, five were drunk, while last year police stopped 135 cyclists who had more than 1.6 parts per thousand alcohol blood level.

Until now only drunk cyclists who had driving licenses could be made to suffer the consequences – last year 26 lost their car driving licenses.

But now Schulze-Werner is determined to make the drink-driving laws apply to cyclists too, and said the first bicycling ban was being processed.

People barred from their bikes will have to pass a medical-psychological test, just like those who are banned from their cars for drink-driving.