As funny as the title of this post is, I can assure you, it’s no joke. That’s right, if you’ve been to Old Town Scottsdale lately, you’ve seen them everywhere, maybe even in places you know they shouldn’t be: electric rental scooters. Not like the kind you see at the grocery store, but like the kind you wanted for Christmas when you turned 10, but with a lot less kicking involved. These electric scooters are a great way to hop from bar to bar on a Friday night while having fun doing it. However, as goofy as it might seem, these scooters are still considered vehicles, and DUI laws still apply.
In December of 2018, Scottsdale passed and implemented Scottsdale Revised Code 17.89.1, which follows and applies the same DUI rules to those fun electric scooters that apply to cars and other vehicles. If you’re operating a scooter in Scottsdale under the influence of drugs or alcohol (above the .08 threshold), you’re about to receive a Class 1 Misdemeanor charge.
The penalties here are a little different, but not really less severe. A scooter DUI charge carries with it a penalty of 5 days jail, a $250 fine, and possible community service. The 5 days in jail can be reduced down to 1 day if you agree to take alcohol awareness classes. Still, all of this is a high price to pay for having a drink too many and attempting to use a glorified kid’s toy. Because the penalty is based on a city code, it cannot result in points on your license or the installation of an ignition interlock device, but the penalties outlined here are still severe enough that you’ll want to avoid the risk at all costs.
Defending a scooter ticket has a lot of different avenues. First off, the officer making the initial stop has to have a reason. The easiest way to get stopped is to use a scooter that has no lights, no brakes, or to use the scooter in an inappropriate manner. The easiest way to avoid this ticket is to stay off the scooter if you know you can’t use it appropriately, but the other easy way around it is to use a working scooter according to any and all posted usage rules. Scottsdale scooters can be fun, and you can have fun, but, if you have too much fun, we here at Palestini Law will keep you from going on the run.