Riding bike drunk gets man prison term

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Kannapolis man will spend more than five years in prison after a drunken 2012 ride on a bicycle resulted in his being convicted of habitual impaired driving.

Bobby Lee Craig III also admitted his status as a habitual felon in Criminal Superior Court last week, according to a news release from the Rowan County District Attorney’s office.

He was sentenced in to a minimum of five years and six months in prison and a maximum of seven years and seven months.

On April 29, 2012, a deputy with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Department responded to a call for a welfare check of a person lying in the road. The man was later identified as Craig.

When the deputy arrived, he found Craig asleep in the road and was able to awaken him. Craig smelled strongly of alcohol, his eyes were glassy and his speech was slurred, the news release said.

A white bag next to Craig contained a beer, and he had what appeared to be two additional beers in his pockets. The deputy saw a bicycle, and Craig said that he was too drunk to ride the bicycle and was pushing it.

The deputy allowed Craig to leave with the understanding that he was not supposed to ride the bicycle. A short time later, the deputy saw Craig riding the bicycle on another road. The deputy conducted field sobriety tests and arrested Craig for driving while impaired. His blood alcohol level was .16, twice the legal limit.

Craig was previously convicted of three prior driving while impaired offenses that elevated his status to be indicted for felony habitual impaired driving. In addition, Craig was previously convicted of felony breaking and/or entering, felony safecracking and felony second-degree burglary.

In the news release, District Attorney Brandy Cook said it may surprise people to learn that a person can be charged and convicted of driving while impaired while operating a bicycle. Bicycles and lawnmowers were included in the statutory definition of a vehicle in 2006.