MUNSTER, Germany – A German university town is throwing the book at drunk cyclists -- by applying drunk driving laws to peddlers.
Under the new rules in Munster, 296 miles west of the capital Berlin, anyone caught cycling inebriated faces a ban from bike riding, news website The Local reported Friday.
Those who are caught violating the ban could be fined at least US$656, Martin Schulze-Werner, head of the town public order office, said.
Previously, only cyclists with driving licenses were punished for drunk cycling -- their car driving licenses were revoked.
However, with drunk riders becoming an increasing problem for the town, authorities are getting tough with cyclists, Schulze-Werner said.
In 2011, five cyclists died as a result of drunk riding, he said, adding that cops stopped 135 cyclists who were over the alcohol limit the same year.
Schulze-Werner added that the city's first bicycling ban in 2012 was being processed.
Banned cyclists who hope to get back on the road will be subjected to a psychological examination, similar to drivers banned for drunk driving.