E-Scooters, DUIs and Alcohol Consumption in Germany
There have been a number of alcohol-related issues concerning E-Scooters since their arrival in Germany. This has been especially the case with this year’s Oktoberfest celebrations where reports of hundreds of attendees getting caught and charged with driving under alcohol influence have emerged. This has resulted in many people losing their driving licenses and facing driving suspensions. The police in Munich intervened in several cases to prevent people from using the vehicles while they were clearly after consuming alcohol.
All this relates to the fact that E-Scooters are recognised in the law as akin to motor vehicles. They are not viewed as toys or even in the same light as bikes. This has an impact when it comes to consuming alcohol. Therefore, when it comes to E-Scooters it is worth considering the legal limits of alcohol consumption
Alcohol Limits for E-Scooter
When it comes to driving motor vehicles, such as cars in Germany the legal blood-alcohol limit is 0.5 mg of alcohol per mm of blood. This is the equivalent roughly of two small beers for an average-sized man. However, it is worth bearing in mind that this is the amount reserved for experienced drivers over the age of 21 and driving in a private (non-commercial) context. When it comes to inexperienced drivers ( those with less than two years’ experience), young drivers (under the age of 21), commercial/professional drivers (taxi-drivers, bus drivers etc.) the limit is held at 0.0mg of alcohol per mm.
The extent of the punishment and the amount a person can be fined for driving under the influence of alcohol is dependant on the amount of alcohol consumed and on the facts of the case in question. If a person has endangered other people, have more than 1.1mg of alcohol per mm of blood in their system or caused a traffic collision, they can face higher penalties. Such penalties include high fines, revocation of a person’s driving licence and even the possibility of jail time!
Sanctions for Riding an E-Scooter Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI)
When it comes to the possible punishments one can face for using an E-Scooter under the influence they can be as follows: for a first offence and where the blood-alcohol level was around the 0.5mg per mm level a person may face a driving suspension of one month, a fine of 500€ and 2 points on your driving licence. One can expect to face a higher fine and a longer driving ban with the fine increasing by 500€ per offence for repeat offences.
However, where one has caused a collision due to the amount of alcohol consumed one may face higher sanctions. If a person is over the 1.1mg per mm barrier, they can expect to lose their licence and face sanctions such as loss of driving licence, jail time, heavy fines and driving bans. Make sure to seek legal representation if you find yourself in any kind of legal trouble concerning E-Scooters and alcohol.
Cycling and Alcohol Consumption
It is worth keeping the numbers and limits for E-Scooters in mind as they differ from cyclists. There appears to be more leeway with the official limit set at a higher 1.6mg of alcohol per mm of blood for cyclists. Should the cyclist be caught with this figure in their system, they will likely face criminal sanctions. However, this does not give cyclists free-rein as it is around this limit that one can face having their driving licence revoked, a lifetime ban from cycling, possibly jail time, and high fines. Even with a much lower blood-alcohol level (even as low as 0.3mg of alcohol per mm of blood), one can face legal difficulties. The advice we would give is not drinking alcohol when you know you will be driving, cycling or e-scooting afterwards!
Legal Recognition of E-Scooters
As stated above, in legal terms E-Scooters are recognised as more akin to motor vehicles. Firstly, this affects them only being open to those over the age of 14, in cases of private E-Scooters, and those over the age of 18 when it comes to rental scooters. Again, these are not toys for young children! Also, only one person can be on an E-Scooter at a time. Consequently, users can face legal difficulties if they attempt to have more than one person using an E-Scooter at the same time. However, it is worth considering that one does not require a driving licence to use an E-Scooter, but one does need valid insurance when using one.
Other Laws Relating to E-Scooters
Furthermore, E-Scooters are reserved for cycle lanes and can only go on certain roads when there is no cycle lane available. E-Scooters should not be driven in pedestrian zones. There have been cases of people using E-Scooters on motorways and, again, this is to be avoided at all costs! When riding on streets – whether on the road or in a cycle lane – one must follow the traffic flow and not ride against oncoming traffic.
Similarly, hand signals must be used and users are required to obey traffic lights and traffic signs. Helmets are not a mandatory legal requirement but take an unnecessary risk when one does not avail of one while riding. It is also prohibited for E-Scooters to be ridden next to each other on the road. This type of behaviour is risky and can cause serious traffic collisions.
If you happen to be in the unfortunate situation of needing legal assistance due to a case in this field, do not hesitate to contact Schlun & Elseven. Our lawyers are experienced in a range of areas including criminal law. We have represented numerous clients in many such cases before now. Delay can be detrimental to a case, so it is important to make contact as quickly as possible! Quick action is vital to ensure that we can make the legal appeal within the applicable time-frame.
If you are facing any difficulties regarding alcohol consumption and E-Scooters or other legal issues concerning E-Scooters contact us immediately. We will be by your side to provide you with the legal representation you need. Our team of lawyers can provide their expertise, knowledge and legal know-how English and German to ensure that you fully understand the legal process. If you need to contact a lawyer from our team, make sure to use the contact details below.