Above: The corner of Lincoln Blvd. and Marco Court in Venice, California, where an elderly man was recently killed by an intoxicated scooter rider. The red circle indicates how electric scooters are staged at this corner — just beyond the parking lot of Superba Food + Bread, a popular bakery and restaurant that serves wine, beer, and cocktails.
Can you get a DUI on a scooter?
The short answer is yes. Just as you can be charged with criminal misconduct for riding a bike while intoxicated, you can be charged for riding an electric scooter while intoxicated.
However, there’s a longer answer that’s a bit more complicated.
Let’s put it this way: You can get far more than a DUI on a scooter. You can literally kill someone while riding a scooter while intoxicated.
Recently, an elderly man in Venice, California was struck and killed by an intoxicated scooter driver, who was also carrying a passenger. The crash occurred late on a Saturday night in an area of Los Angeles filled with bars and restaurants.
When you rent a scooter, the terms and conditions hidden found in the rental contract state that 1) you are to not operate the scooter while drunk and 2) you’re to ride the scooter alone, with no passengers. It’s a matter of common sense, but carrying a passenger can make an electric scooter far more difficult to steer and stop.
Unfortunately, drinking and common sense do not overlap.
Scooter Companies Share Blame for Scooter DUIs
As an attorney, having studied so many tragic scooter accidents such as these, I have come to strongly believe that the blame for scooter DUI’s extends beyond intoxicated scooter riders. Just as individuals need to be held responsible for riding scooters when drunk, scooter companies should be viewed as enablers of a greater danger to the public.
Why are electric scooters placed outside of bars and restaurants, available to be ridden late at night when intoxication is more likely?
This is an honest question that the electric scooter industry doesn’t want to talk about.
Granted, all of companies that “stage” electric scooters along city sidewalks have disclaimers in their user agreements that strictly forbid riders from using their equipment while intoxicated.
However, the actions of these companies seem to contradict their messaging.
Are these companies really trying to be informative, or are they simply seeking to escape legal liability?
I believe the answer is definitely the latter. If electric scooter companies were truly interested in safety, then they would put safeguards in place to prevent riders from activating scooters while intoxicated. At the very least, they could take preventative measures by not making scooters available for rent outside of bars, clubs, and restaurants.
At a certain point, the general welfare of our fellow humans should outweigh the profit centers that these scooters have turned into for the companies that produce them.
Have a Scooter Accident Question? Contact Us
Negretti & Associates Attorneys at Law handles electric scooter accident cases in California, Arizona, and Colorado. If you have been involved in an electric scooter accident and you have questions about your case, feel free to contact us online, call us at 1-833-827-3535, or send us a text. We can ensure that you are taking all the necessary steps toward getting the compensation you deserve.