The First Scooter DUI In The USA

For the first time, the City of Los Angeles has convicted a Bird motorized scooter rider of driving under the influence. The 28-year-old man crashed into a 64-year-old pedestrian who was knocked to the pavement on a Wes Los Angeles sidewalk. The scooter rider was also convicted of a hit-and-run charge. As opposed to stopping and rendering aid to the victim, the man rode off to a nearby apartment building. The defendant entered pleas of guilty to both offenses. Bird’s agreement with its users specifies that its scooters are not permitted to be used when riders are under the influence of alcohol, drugs or any combination of the two.

The Sentence
After police located the scooter rider, he was found to have had a blood alcohol content of .279. That level is more than three times the .08 legal limit for the operation of a motor vehicle. Pursuant to his DUI conviction, the man was ordered to pay a $550 fine along with three years of probation and restitution to the victim. He was also ordered not to operate a scooter after having consumed any alcohol, and he must successfully complete a three month alcohol education program. It is unclear whether the defendant was represented by an attorney.California Vehicles
California law defines a vehicle broadly. Although unchallenged in this case, electric scooters appear to fall within the state’s definition of a vehicle. The prosecutor in the subject case remarked that the operation of a bicycle or scooter can lead to serious injuries or even worse. He went on to say that “This conviction demonstrates our office’s continued effort to enforce our drunk driving laws and make our streets and sidewalks safer.”Riders Must Follow the Rules of the Road
California Vehicle Code section 23152(a) makes it illegal “for a person under the influence of any alcoholic beverage to drive a vehicle.” Section 23152(b) makes it illegal for any person to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol level of .08 or above. Although electric scooters aren’t required to be registered with the California Department of Motor Vehicles, riders are required to follow the same traffic laws as motorists.

Electric Scooter Accidents Continue to Increase
Electric scooters owned by Bird have proliferated throughout Los Angeles neighborhoods over the past year. The Los Angeles Police Department is now tracking accidents involving electric scooters, motor vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians.

According to Criminal Defense Attorney in Deer Park, TX, the Ayson Law firm, the number of these accidents continues to increase and more DUIs are likely.

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