This might come as a surprise, but DUIs extend to any vehicle with a motor or that can be driven. That includes motorcycles, bicycles, and that’s right, even electric scooters. Even though motorized scooters are not explicitly mentioned, since they have motors and have to be operated, they technically fall under the term “motor vehicle.”
You might think you’re being clever and savvy by renting an electric scooter to get home after a night out, but you’re actually being just as dangerous and negligent as a person who gets behind the wheel. And if you get caught, you’ll end up spending much more than the price of a scooter or rideshare on fines.
Driving Under the Influence
As mentioned above, a DUI, or Driving Under the Influence charge extends to all motor vehicles that must be operated in order to travel. In most states, a driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher is considered drunk. Some states, like Colorado, have lesser charges for drivers with a BAC of .05 or higher, and .08 BAC and higher carries more serious charges.
While that BAC might sound low, it’s actually a dangerous amount when you’re driving. Think about how you feel after 3 drinks, and that’s about how you’d feel at .08 BAC. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that at .08 BAC, the driver of any kind of vehicle has reduced coordination, impaired perception, difficulty steering and controlling speed, and slowed reaction time to emergency driving situations.
Dangers of Riding a Scooter while Drunk
Back in September of 2018, a man in Los Angeles, California, was the first person to be charged with motorized scooter DUI. Not only was he driving drunk, but the man struck a pedestrian and continued driving the scooter even though the victim was knocked to the ground and had suffered an injury to the knee.
When scootering under the influence, you can cause a lot of damage to yourself and others. If you’re on a sidewalk, you could strike and injure pedestrians. You could also hit things like lampposts, sidewalks, or other stationary objects that could propel you off of your scooter. Since you’re not required to wear a helmet on the scooter, you could get seriously injured by a minor collision.
On the more serious end, if you drive the rented e-scooter on the street while intoxicated, you could also hit cars. Since you are not protected like you would be in a standard vehicle, and you’re probably not wearing a helmet, any impact with a car could potentially kill you. As an impaired driver of a scooter, you would be less aware of your surroundings, your speed, and you would not be able to evaluate the situation like you would if sober, so driving a rental scooter home drunk is not safer than driving a car drunk.
Have You Been in an E-Scooter Accident?
As rental e-scooters become more popular, we see more accidents between riders, pedestrians, and even bigger motor vehicles. Since e-scooters are rented through a larger rideshare company, it could be tough for you to file a claim after an accident that wasn’t your fault. Rideshare Law Group has lawyers all over the country who are here to help protect you against injustice. Contact us today so we can discuss your possible case and so you can start healing.