Plenty of vodka soda, beer and a nightly ride on the e-scooter cost a man his driver’s license in Frankfurt am Main. Although the fast scooters are more of a fun alternative to bicycles for many, the same rules apply as for cars. TECHBOOK reveals what you should definitely pay attention to on your next trip.
Partying out in the evening and taking the e-scooter instead of driving the car drunk on the way home – that’s probably what the unfortunate Frankfurter thought. But he was caught anyway, with at least 1.64 per thousand in his blood. The district court therefore sentenced him to a fine of 600 euros and a driving ban of 6 months for negligent drunk driving. An appropriate punishment? No, says the higher regional court in Frankfurt and orders the compulsory withdrawal of the driver’s license. It is based on Section 69 Paragraph 1 Clause 1 of the Criminal Code and the alcohol limits applicable to motor vehicles.
The fact that the defendant did not drive a car but drove an e-scooter is irrelevant
Small electric vehicles – which also include e-scooters – are considered motor vehicles just like cars. The blood alcohol limit for e-scooters is therefore 0.5 and it is punishable from 1.1 alcohol levels at the latest. There is a strict alcohol ban for novice drivers in their probationary period and drivers under the age of 21. If you still drive drunk, you have to expect a fine of between 500 and 1500 euros or a prison sentence of up to one year, 2 points in Flensburg and other ancillary penalties such as a 6-month driving ban or the loss of your driver’s license. This is to prevent the perpetrator from driving drunk again and endangering himself and other people on the road.
However, you have to know that driving an e-scooter does not require a driver’s license. A minimum age of 14 years is the only requirement. However, anyone who has been banned from driving not only has to do without the car, but is also not allowed to swing on the e-scooter. In the case of the vodka-affine Frankfurter, the higher regional court has now instructed the district court to renegotiate the matter. If the circumstances of the crime differ significantly from those of an average case, he could possibly keep his driver’s license.
The fact that such strict rules apply to e-scooters at all is also due to the risk of accidents and injuries, which is still underestimated. In 2021, 4900 people were injured in e-scooter accidents in Germany, five of them died. In almost 90 percent of these accidents with injuries, the e-scooter drivers were drunk.
You should observe these rules
In addition to the blood alcohol limits, there are other things that you should consider the next time you ride an e-scooter: For safety reasons, it is advisable to wear a helmet. But there is no obligation to do so. Even if you often see it differently, only one person is allowed to ride an e-scooter. This also applies if both people together do not exceed the maximum weight of the vehicle. If you are drunk and in a double pack on the electronic scooter, you can even expect a penalty for the passenger. As with driving a car, the illegal use of electronic devices – such as smartphones – is punished with a fine of 100 euros and a point in Flensburg.
Driving on the sidewalk is also not permitted and can cost 15 to 30 euros, but driving on the motorway “only” 20 euros. Driving in pedestrian zones is only permitted if they are approved for e-scooters. The same applies to parking when drivers no longer need the rental scooters. Roadsides and sidewalks are permissible parking spaces, but pedestrians, wheelchair users and prams should not be obstructed by the bulky vehicles. In Paris, rental scooters are now considered so annoying that, according to a public survey, they will be banned from September 1st, 2023. If you are considering buying your own e-scooter, TECHBOOK presents the 7 best models. Otherwise, drive carefully and enjoy the ride.