I was caught being drunk while riding a bicycle and the letter states that it is a criminal offence. The letter mentioned a couple of options that I can follow such as 1. Accepting the crime, 2. Express yourself in a letter, 3. Pay fine, 4. Go to a lawyer, etc. My position is: I was drunk true, but I was not going to ride the bicycle home. It was 2 o'clock in the morning and I was with two guys, who had the bicycle. The bicycles were parked in front of a church and since there was no one on the streets, I was just trying one bicycle and could have gone 50-60 meter in the pavement when the police caught me.

I understand I broke a law. I am foreigner, I didn't know this law. This drunk bicycling can lead to a criminal offence, I did not realise that. I am very embarrassed about my actions.

Now I want to express my self in a letter. Since the law is not my domain, I would like to get some help, if anyone can help me out or give me some hints on how I should draft my letter. And, if possible also let me know how much fine I have to pay. Its been only one month since I am working.


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    A letter will not help. Either accept the fine or find a Lawyer.
    – Josef
    Commented Aug 5, 2020 at 10:06
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    This is probably better suited for law.SE?
    – jcaron
    Commented Aug 5, 2020 at 10:26
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    Officer: You were riding your bicycle while drunk. You: No it wasn't my bicycle, it was one I stole from outside a church. Officer:... Commented Aug 5, 2020 at 14:52
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    I’m voting to close this question because its not a travel question. The OP is asking for legal advice. He should ask on Law, and consider hiring a lawyer.
    – user105640
    Commented Aug 5, 2020 at 15:36
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    (continued) It might also be a good idea to talk to a lawyer before answering the letter to find out how a driving-under-the-influence record affects your future and if it counts as a criminal conviction. Germany won't kick you out over a single DUI, but you might have to answer "have you ever been convicted of a crime" e.g. on visa applications.
    – o.m.
    Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 6:47

1 Answer 1


If you in Germany ride a bicycle under influence of alcohol and your blood alcohol content is above 0.16% or the police deem you incapable of riding the bicycle without endangering others, the consequences are basically the same as if you had been driving a motorized vehicle. It is of no relevance that you were only riding 50-60m or that it was not your bicycle.

Expressing yourself in a letter will potentially only make matters worse, since you might admit to something the police is not yet aware of. You can not expect such a letter to have any significance for your defence.

If the accusations against you are factually correct and there are no obvious mitigating circumstances, you might be better admitting the crime and face the penalty. Otherwise, you should hire a lawyer for your defence. Unless you are entitled to a free lawyer, you must however consider that you have to pay the lawyer on top of any penalty you will get from the court.

As you pointed out in a comment, your BAC was measured to 0.166% and therefore above the absolute 0.16% limit. The charges against you are therefore not based on a subjective assesement of your capability to operate a bicycle. With a BAC that high, you must in addition to a fine also expect that your driver's license (or right to drive in Germany, in case you have a foreign license) will be revoked. If you really depend on your driver's license, e.g. to perform your occupation, the court have the option to give you some leeway and let you keep your license. In this case, you may also be better off hiring a lawyer to help you out.

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    @Sanjudas Why do you (still?) think that the police didn't understand the situation correctly? I can say it once again: It is of no relevance that you were only riding 50-60m or that it was not your bicycle. Commented Aug 5, 2020 at 11:29
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    @Sanjudas Do you have a driver's license on which you rely upon, e.g. to do your work? With a BAC above 0.16%, you must also expect that your driver's license will be revoked. If you depend upon it for your own sustenance, you may also consider hiring a lawyer to help you keep it. Commented Aug 5, 2020 at 12:28
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    @Sanjudas Please let us know how things unfold
    – Crazydre
    Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 8:17
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    In addition to losing your drivers licence, if you haven't got one yet, this will be taken into account if you every apply to get one in Germany. They have a very long memory, and the licence penalty will be enforced once you have one. Growing up in a village in Germany, I know a few people who got caught at 17 riding a bike home very drunk and they all had to wait much later than their 18th birthday to be allowed to drive.
    – simbabque
    Commented Aug 11, 2020 at 16:28
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    @Sanjudas I've asked the city of Hannover on Twitter about your residence permit (well actually I asked about a Niederlassungserlaubnis, I didn't know what you have). They said that their local Ausländerbehörde says this incident will not have a negative effect if you already have one. They didn't say if it would make it harder getting one. IIRC the thing I asked for is a settlement permit, so this might not be entirely accurate.
    – simbabque
    Commented Aug 18, 2020 at 15:00

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