DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE: ESCOOTERS
They’re cheaper and more fun than a taxi. Why not ride home from the pub on the e-scooter?
Much confusion still surrounds the use of e-scooters. One of the biggest misunderstandings is whether you can be charged with drink driving whilst using an e-scooter. In short, yes a person can be charged for drink driving whilst using an e-scooter.
Under section 79 of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 it is an offence to drive, attempt to put in motion or be in charge of a motor vehicle whilst under the influence of liquor.
Is an e-scooter considered a motor vehicle?
The definitions provided by the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 provide that a motorized scooter is not a motor vehicle for the purposes of this act. However, if the e-scooter can reach a speed of 25km/h it is defined as a motor vehicle.
If the e-scooter is classed as a motor vehicle then it is possible to be charged with driving whilst under the influence. The penalty varies depending on your blood alcohol limit and whether this is your first offence. The maximum penalty could be:
- $3,859 fine;
- Maximum 9 months imprisonment; and
- A maximum 24 months license disqualification (depending on your traffic history).
However, even if the e-scooter is not classified as a motor vehicle you can still be charged with drink driving. Under section 79(7) of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 any person whilst under the influence of liquor or a drug drives, is in charge or attempts to put in motion any vehicle (other than a motor vehicle) is guilty of an offence.
The difference between this offence and having an e-scooter classified as a motor vehicle is that the penalties are not as severe. For example, there is no minimum license disqualification period.
These are only the traffic offences you could be charged with. If you were to harm somebody or damage property whilst riding an e- scooter, you could face further penalties.
Our advice is – if you have been drinking, stay away from the e-scooter. It might seem like a fun ride at the time, but it could end up costing you!
If you or somebody you know are facing a charge of drink driving, please contact our office on 3009 6555 to talk about how Creevey Russell can help you.