Copenhagen Police charge 24 electric scooter users with drink driving - The Post

Copenhagen Police charge 24 electric scooter users with drink driving

Authorities follow up on mid-May suggestion there may be trouble ahead for those who think riding one is just like hopping on a bicycle

Easy to miss on the pavement … particularly if you’ve had a few (photo: Tim Evanson/Flickr)
July 9th, 2019 12:48 pm| by Ruchi Pujari

It’s not like the police didn’t warn us. In mid-May, they were very clear: if you are planning to ride a electric scooter home after a couple of drinks with your friends, think again.

READ MORE: Police warn electric scooter riders not to drink and drive

And last weekend, the crackdown they promised came into reality as Copenhagen charged 28 people with driving electric scooters whilst intoxicated.

In a statement on Twitter, Copenhagen Police confirmed that 24 people had been charged with drink driving, while four others were charged with driving the electric scooters under the influence of recreational drugs.

They also put out a statement cautioning people to adhere to traffic rules, as they apply to electric scooters as well.

Christian Berthelsen, a police assistant at the National Police’s National Traffic Center, explained to DR that the number of cases has surprised him, adding that he thought it was scary that so many people were driving around under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Electric scooters rapidly becoming a popular choice
Electric scooters are available to rent in Copenhagen, Aarhus, Vejle and Odense.

With the increasing number of scooters on the road, Berthelsen thinks it is important to take action now.

“We choose to carry out checks now because we can see it is a very popular mode of transport and we know why. However, it is important we stick to the rules, or otherwise it will make things difficult for us. Our main goal is to prevent any sort of accidents from happening,” he told DR.

Same rules apply for drunk driving 
Electric scooters are subject to the same rules for drink driving that apply to other motorised vehicles.

The legal blood alcohol level for those driving the scooters is 0.5g/kg of blood, while using vehicles under the influence of drugs is forbidden.

For those charged with drink driving for a first time, the fine is 2,000 kroner, for a second time it rises to 4,000 kroner, and for a third time you risk being imprisoned.

The rules, however, are not the same for cyclists. Cyclists are stopped by the police if they are deemed to be drunk, but usually not punished.

Traffic rules for electric scooters

– You must be at least 15 years of age (some rental companies require you to be 18 )

– You must follow the cycling rules. You have to drive on the bike path if there is a bike path and follow cyclist signals and signs

– Do not drive on the pavement, footpaths or in pedestrian areas

– You must give signs of turning and stopping

– There may only be one person on the scooter

– You have to drive with the light on all day

– The Promille limit is 0.5 and there is a zero limit for illegal substances

– Children under the age of 15 may only drive on electric scooters in traffic if the child is with an adult of 18 years or older who is monitoring and in control of the child’s driving. In play areas and living areas, however, there is no requirement for children on electric scooters to be with an adult

Source: Rådet for Sikker Trafik