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.
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.