Over 250 people lost their driver’s license in Germany for getting on an e-scooter drunk.
Scooters--especially electronic ones--are a bit of a problem. They’re too fast to go on crowded sidewalks where collisions with pedestrians are almost certain, but they’re also too slow to be put on a road with cyclists and cars and 7-ton big rigs hauling refrigerators. They’re in this bizarre middle ground where they’re fine as a mode of transportation but without any infrastructure to support them.
E-scooters have recently started appearing in urban centers around the world and governments are scrambling to catch up. One German city knows how to handle e-scooters though. In Munich, e-scooters are classified as motorized vehicles, and that means drunk driving laws apply.
So when Munich hosted its 16-day Oktoberfest festival and people thought they could just take an e-scooter home after having a bit too much to drink, they were given a rude awakening by Munich’s police force.
According to a statement released by the Munich PD, 414 people were arrested while trying to drive an e-scooter drunk. Of those people, 254 had driver’s licenses that were promptly revoked.
It’s a tough rule, but Germany has been especially hard hit with an influx of e-scooters. German officials are sending a message to anyone who wants to scoot: obey drunk driving laws or be prepared to walk everywhere.
And it’s not necessarily a bad law. Even sober, e-scooters are apparently dangerous to drive. CNN quotes a study by the CDC published last May that found that one-third of new e-scooter drivers were injured during their very first trip. That number climbed to 63% of drivers before their 10th trip.
The study concluded that people might need additional training before being allowed to drive an e-scooter in much the same way as cars.
Even if people don’t drive them, scooters are still causing problems in urban centers. WIthout defined parking spaces, folks are just leaving them on the sidewalk and causing problems for pedestrians. You’d think they’d just get stolen given how small they are, but apparently thieves haven’t caught up with the times yet either.