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German town gets tough on drunk cycling

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.