We are truly living in the age of convenience. From Rideshare apps to services that let you unlock a bike with your phone, getting around town has never been easier. These trends have ushered in yet another way to mobilize yourself — motorized scooter rentals. Companies like Bird and Lime have the user download an app, plug in their payment information, and dart away! To end a trip, they return the vehicle to the company’s stations or even at bike racks and tell the app that they’re all done.
As a trusted DWI law firm near Camden County, the Law Offices of Jason C. Pollack, P.C. understands that with any innovation that helps the masses move about comes legal concerns that rise to the surface. Here’s one that may rise to the surface after hitting the town — “could I get a DUI on an electric scooter?”
Is “Scooting Under The Influence” a Thing?
The short answer is it depends on where you live. A 28-year-old man in Los Angeles was convicted a few years ago for operating a Bird electric scooter while under the influence. In fact, it’s the first motorized scooter drunk driving instance in the city. It appears Illinois, Indiana, and Colorado residents could be at risk of a DUI arrest while operating a motorized scooter. At the same time, the State of Minnesota doesn’t recognize Lime or Bird electric scooters as a “motor vehicle” in regards to DWI purposes. As brands like Lime and Bird roll out pilot programs in cities all over the nation, its’ legal landscape will continue to take shape state-by-state.
Drunk Driving in New Jersey
In New Jersey, it’s illegal to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, this begets a new question: What exactly does “motor vehicle” mean in New Jersey? According to State law, a motor vehicle includes any vehicle that uses anything other than muscular power to propel itself, like cars, trucks, tractors, buses, etc. — and electric scooters are no exception.
In other words, an individual operating an electric scooter in New Jersey can be charged with a DWI. The penalties for operating a motorized scooter while under the influence are the same as handling any other motor vehicle under the influence.
If you have been charged for being under the influence while operating a motorized scooter in New Jersey, turn to a team of DUI attorneys near Camden County that you can trust. Contact the Law Offices of Jason C. Pollack, P.C. today!