With the rising ubiquity of part-time rental bike and scooter services, a different category of motor vehicles is occupying the streets and sidewalks, bringing to their operators all the same responsibilities of driving an automobile.

Accordingly, Los Angeles has had its very first ‘Scooter DUI’ conviction. From Bloomberg:

“The man was three times over the legal blood alcohol limit when he knocked over a 64-year-old pedestrian on a sidewalk last month, according to a statement by City Attorney Mike Feuer. The scooter rider didn’t stop and was arrested at a nearby apartment building.

Los Angeles, like many cities, is coping with a surge in scooter riding thanks to the advent of new part-time rental services such [as] (sic) Bird and Lime. Some cities have sought to ban them as they work out rules regarding their number and usage.”

By contrast, Washington State law does not classify electric bikes and scooters as “motor vehicles”, and thus operators of such are not subject to DUI charges, thanks to a Washington State Supreme Court ruling in 2017.

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