Study looks into the differing attitudes towards drinking alcohol and cycling, and drinking and driving

A study in Germany has found that drinking alcohol and then cycling is more socially acceptable than drinking alcohol and then driving a motor vehicle.

Carmen Hagemeister and Markus Kronmaier of the psychology department, Technische Universität Dresden used the poll results from 267 people related to their attitudes towards drink cycling and drink driving. The poll took place between November 2014 and February 2015.

Far fewer people (15 respondents) said that they were not prepared drink at all before cycling compared to 74 people, who said that they would not drink at all before taking to the wheel of a car.

Cycling under the influence of alcohol was seen as less of a danger to oneself and to others than drink driving.

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“In all aspects covered, drink cycling was seen as more acceptable and less dangerous than drink driving,” reads the scientific paper abstract.

The study also found that those who witnessed drink cycling among their friends were more likely to do it themselves.

“Persons who cycle more often under the influence observe drink cycling more often among their friends. They think they are less of a danger to themselves and others when cycling after alcohol consumption, and they agree less with the statement that one should leave one’s bike parked after alcohol consumption.”



In Germany, the legal blood alcohol limit for cycling is higher than that for driving.

In Britain, there is no specified blood alcohol limit for those cycling, although it is illegal to cycle ‘under the influence’ of alcohol or drugs to the extent where you are ‘incapable of having proper control of the cycle’. This leaves the law open to interpretation.

Findings from the study have been published by the journal, Accident Analysis and Prevention.