Can you get a DUI on an electric scooter?
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Can you get a DUI on an electric scooter?

DUI on an electric scooter
  • States have various rules about licensing, insuring, and registering electric scooters. 
  • You can receive a DUI for operating any vehicle if your blood-alcohol level is at or above 0.08%.
  • You could lose your driver’s license if you received a DUI on an electric scooter. 

While automobiles and commercial vehicles have distinct federal and state laws regarding driving under the influence (DUI), electric scooters do not. However, scooters do have federal rules and limits about how to drive them, so you could receive a DUI ticket if you are driving with a blood-alcohol level over the legal limit. 

The specific rules come from HR 727 in the Consumer Product Safety Act amendment. In the United States, it is legal to drive “low-speed vehicles” with an electric motor of fewer than 750 watts and a maximum speed of 20 MPH on paved level surfaces. States have other rules and regulations about riding scooters and electric bikes.


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Where Can You Ride an Electric Scooter in the US?

In the United States, several states still have laws prohibiting electric scooters. They include Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Kentucky, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin. 

Thirty-eight other states permit electric scooters, and many states do not allow riders to take them on highways, expressways, or limited-access roads. Other states have rules that require scooter riders to use the right side of the road, in the same way that cyclists are asked to ride with traffic.


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How Fast Can You Ride an Electric Scooter?

Scooter riders should not exceed 20 MPH. If you are riding your scooter on the side of the road, you should ride at the maximum speed. Even though the maximum speed allowed in most states is 20 MPH, many scooter models do not go faster than 10 or 15 MPH. 


Do You Need a License and Registration for Your Scooter?

Lime rideshare e-scooter rider next to water, not getting a DUI while on an electric scooter
Lime

North Carolina is the only state that requires scooter owners to register their vehicles with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Illinois and Texas require riders to have insurance, but only if the speedy scooter has a motor with more than 750 watts. Most states do not require licenses to ride a scooter, but since laws continue to change, it’s wise to check before you hop on a Lime.


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Getting a DUI on an Electric Scooter

Anyone with a blood-alcohol level over 0.08% could receive a DUI ticket if they are operating a vehicle – even an electric scooter. If you are a licensed motor vehicle operator, the ticket could go on your driving record. The possibility of a DUI ticket depends on the state you are in. For example, Texas legally recognizes electric scooters are motor vehicles, but Nebraska does not. 

Local rules could also determine whether you can get a DUI ticket while on a scooter. In many states, police officers can give people tickets if they are drinking and driving any vehicle – even a bicycle. 

If you receive a DUI while on an e-scooter, the ticket and the penalties that come with it are similar to those you would have if you received one while driving a car, truck, or motorcycle. Those penalties can include large fines and a suspended license. 


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IMAGES: LIME

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AUTHOR: 

KRISTEN BENTLEY

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