Electric scooters are becoming popular globally. They are easy to use means of transport. Moreover, due to their electric nature, they are environmentally friendly as well. However, before you decide to embark on one, there is couple of rules and regulations to keep in mind.
One important rule to keep in mind after a long night out is can you catch a DUI while riding an electric scooter? Yes, you can. The law may vary from state to state, but overall, we all can agree that this isn’t a good idea.
You’ll often see riders renting electric scooters after they’ve been drinking. Not only is this dangerous for you but there can be tremendous harm for everyone else.
We understand not all will follow our advice, so what happens if you try to scoot under the influence? In this post we share some of our findings as well as address laws for major cities.
The answer depends on the place where you are driving or living. Some states can charge you with a DUI on a motorized scooter if you’re intoxicated, whereas others cannot.
The general consensus is moving to one that will charge intoxicated electric scooter riders. There is increasing number of motorized scooters on the road in major cities. Due ride sharing companies like Lime and Bird.
Typically, these scooters are near downtown venues like bars, clubs, or restaurants. So, more and more states are recognizing this. Causing lawmakers to move towards regulations that penalize riders for scooting while intoxicated.
That is why; it is better to stay away from hard drinks when you’re planning to use a motorized scooter.
The issues are some riders either don’t know laws exist or don’t believe they’ll be enforced. If intoxicated and you decide to ride an e-scooter your facing the risk of DUI even when you’re renting it?
Can You Get A DUI Riding On A Lime Or Bird Rental Scooter?
Yes, it is possible to get a DUI while riding a lime or bird rental scooter. The entire liability and the persecutions of the law will be focused on you rather than the rental company. It does not matter whether the electric scooter is your own or it is a rented one. You will be liable for a DUI in quite a few States when using a lime or bird rental scooter.
We would cover the bigger states and cities and their laws revolving around electric scooters below. Before that, however, we will answer another pressing question related to the use of electric scooters and being charged with DUI.
Legally, What Happens If You Do Scoot Around Under The Influence?
Legally this can vary for some states. You can charge you with a DUI if you’re intoxicated or face fines. Technically even standing next to an electric scooter while drunk can result with legal issues.
It doesn’t have to be on, the act of standing next to one give police enough probable cause for an arrest.
It’s always good idea to pay attention to your blood alcohol levels if you plan on riding one. In a nutshell, there are a few States that can press DUI charges when they find you intoxicated on an electric or a motorized scooter.
We will go into the details of most big states and cities to provide you with a clear picture regarding there regulations.
What Are The Laws In Major Cities?
Electric Scooters DUI Laws in Florida:
Florida is one of the states with a particular law regarding driving electric scooters. According to Florida Statute 316.193, if your blood alcohol concentration is higher than 0.08, you can be served DUI.
It will result in charges being pressed against you and face penalties. The law is so strict that even if your concentration is precisely 0.08, then charges can be pressed against you.
The charges and the penalties will be the same as those if you are behind the car wheel. Due to this very reason, the state of Florida is pretty strict and precise when it comes to DUI to electric scooter riders.
If you’re in Florida, it is essential to keep this factor in mind before using an electric scooter.
Electric Scooters DUI Laws in Texas:
Texas can charge you with a DWI if you’re intoxicated or under the influence of any substance while driving an electric scooter. One thing, however, which you need to keep in mind is that the definition of motorized vehicles is pretty liberal in Texas.
It can be interpreted in many ways. Also, Texas issues DWI for Driving While Impaired. It covers a wide range of substances rather than just alcohol.
The laws in Texas also clearly state that it does not matter whether you’re using your motorized electric scooter. Or whether you’re renting one from companies like lime or bird. In case you are found to be intoxicated while riding it, you will be charged with DWI.
As we mentioned above, the definition of a motorized vehicle in Texas is pretty loose. We will go into the details of this definition below to help you understand more about it.
Texas states that a person operating a motorized vehicle can be charged with a DWI. However, operating it includes vehicles that are parked as well. In the case of cars, it can charge other passengers with DWI as well.
The definition of a motorized vehicle is vague. It covers any device that can be used by a person to move around or a property. However, it excludes devices that run on tracks or stationary rails.
The very definition, however, covers motorized scooters and electric vehicles. It covers things like a boat, a bike, Vespas, and even an ATV.
If you’re in Texas, you can be the recipient of a DWI if you’re riding an electric scooter in the intoxicated state. That is why; it is better to refrain from it.
Electric Scooters DUI Laws in New York:
As of April 2020, New York recently legalized the use of electric scooters. It also joins many other states and can issue you a DWI when you’re intoxicated while riding an electric scooter.
The state explicitly states that if the vehicle has a motor, the rider can be charged a DWI. Also, it covers various conditions like impairment, intoxication as well as consumption of drugs. Due to this very reason, the definition is wide.
The charges on the recipient of the DWI would be public intoxication or endangering the life of others. While these might seem like relatively less severe charges, but you need to factor in the court costs.
Also, there will be other penalties, as well. As a result, it can lead to a lot of trouble. Moreover, for years you would not be able to remove the DWI from your record. It means that your ability to get a job might get affected as well.
The laws become even more severe if you’re a repeat offender. In that case, a misdemeanor can lead to a lot of legal trouble.
It’s a good idea to avoid using even an electric scooter in New York while under the influence.
Any kind of motorized transport should be strictly avoided. Also, if possible, you should stay at your home in such a condition and not travel at all. It will help you avoid any legal problems.
Electric Scooters DUI Laws in California:
Yes, it is possible to get charged with DUI while using an electric scooter in the state of California. The vehicle Code 21221.5 clearly states that it can happen. However, the law does not clearly state the blood alcohol concentration.
It is safe to assume that it has the same level as driving cars. The level is 0.08 BAC. For car drivers in California, the law also covers the consumption of drugs or any other substances which alter or influence your mind. It is safe to assume that the same is true for electric scooters as well.
However, the law in California is a bit different when it comes to electric scooters. It provides you with an infraction rather than a misdemeanor. However, since the law does not specify the BAC levels, you never know how much concentration can lead to a misdemeanor as well.
Once again, when you’re in California, it is better to simply stay away from your electric scooter or from renting one when you’re under the influence.
Since similar rules apply to electric scooter riders as well as car drivers. It is advisable to stay away from them while under the influence completely.
Electric Scooters DUI Laws in Chicago:
A DUI can be served in the city of Chicago or the state of Illinois. The laws also include drugs as well as other substances. Illinois State also has aggravated DUI charges. Due to this reason, it is even risky to drive an electric scooter in the city of Chicago when you’re under the influence.
The law mentions that DUI can be served to the rider or to the person who is in physical control of a motorized vehicle. It clearly states that even if you’re just a parking it and are caught, you can be served with the DUI.
The definition of a motorized vehicle is essential to interpret. It refers to any device which can be used to transport property or person.
If the device requires a certificate according to Section 3-101(d), it would be covered under this law. This section only excludes a few human-powered devices. It excludes devices that run on tracks or rails, and snowmobiles.
It means that a DUI can be served to the rider or the operator of an electric scooter in Chicago. Thus, when you’re in the city of Chicago or state of Illinois for that matter, once again, you need to refrain from driving the electric scooter when you’re intoxicated.
So, in most of the bigger states as well as cities, you can undoubtedly get a DUI on an electric scooter. Due to this very reason, when you’re under the influence of any substance and are planning to ride an electric scooter, you should stay away from it.
More and more states are drafting laws to keep people away from electric scooters when they are intoxicated.
We have already explained the rules and regulations of a few states and cities above. All in all, it is a good idea to refrain from riding your electric scooter when you’re under the influence.
If you choose to ignore the laws don’t make it obvious and shoutout “I’m drunk on electric scooter” that surly will get you some unwanted attention.
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