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Home Blog Drunk on Two Wheels? Motorcycle DUI More Common Than Thought

When we hear the words “driving under the influence” most of us immediately think of a car driver. However, DUI is also very common for motorcycle drivers, according to the Centers for Disease Control. A recent case in which a motorcycle rider allegedly led police on a high-speed chase while intoxicated highlights this issue.

James O’Donnell, 48, is being held on charges of suspicion of extreme DUI as well as unlawful flight by Yavapai County Sheriff’s officials. O’Donnell, of Black Canyon City, had a BAC measured at .203 percent by a breath test. Officials are waiting for the official results of a blood alcohol test before making final charges.

O’Donnell was arrested when police noticed a crashed motorcycle and the rider sitting on the side of the road in Cornville. When officers approached, O’Donnell allegedly rode off and led authorities on a high-speed chase on Interstate 17 that reached speeds of 70 miles per hour. When police finally apprehended him, he allegedly told them that he had been drinking at a local bar and wanted to avoid arrest.

Motorcycle Riders Make Up High BAC Percentage

According to the CDC, 28 percent of all motorcyclists killed in 2010 had blood alcohol contents of .08 percent or greater. Even more surprising, more than half of all these deaths were people age 40 or older. In fact, motorcyclists ages 40 to 44 have the highest death rate, 44 percent, involving alcohol blood levels of .08 percent or more.

Furthermore, drivers who have a BAC of .08 percent or higher who are involved in a fatal crash are four times more likely to have a previous conviction for DUI than those who are involved in accidents but have not been drinking. This suggests that driving under the influence is a relatively repetitive action and that those convicted of DUI often repeat the mistake.

It is important that anyone who has been arrested for any type of DUI, but particularly extreme or super extreme DUI, have legal advice and counsel. Alex Lane is ready to work with those who have been charged with DUI to help them in any way possible. With the help of a Phoenix DUI attorney, drivers may be able to have charges reduced or even dismissed. If that is not possible, the driver who is represented by legal counsel will often be in a better position to deal with the consequences of a DUI charge.


If you have been charged with a DUI, drug charge, sex crime or any serious criminal offense, let an experienced defense team fight for you. Schedule a consultation with one of our partners today. Call (480) 562-3482 or send an email.