E-scooters are becoming more and more popular in Germany, with many people jetting through the cities, especially in summer. But not everyone follows the rules. In Munich, a 32-year-old engineer was caught with a blood alcohol content of 1.52. A court now cracked the man to a draconian punishment. A deterrent verdict.
The police officers in Munich could not believe their eyes. On a mild autumn night in 2021, they observed a man riding an e-scooter. He was in the Lehel district, on a public road between the Isar and the English Garden. The striking thing: the man was obviously not completely sober and sped past the officials at full speed. A police officer said to his colleague: “He’s about to massacre himself!”
The police patrol stopped the “Raser” and took him for a blood test. The test showed a blood alcohol concentration of 1.52 per mil. The drunk scooter driver received a criminal complaint, and the matter ended up in the judiciary.
On March 15, 2022, the Munich district court sentenced the 32-year-old engineer to a drastic fine of 9,000 euros (90 daily rates of 100 euros each) for negligent drunkenness. In addition, the accused’s driver’s license was revoked for eight months (Az.: 923 Ds 419 Js 186440/21).
The presiding judge said as a reason that small electric vehicles such as e-scooters are considered motor vehicles according to the Road Traffic Act (StVG). The same rules would therefore apply to users of such mobiles as to drivers, for example.
The judge credited the defendant with the fact that he had not driven a car, but a much lighter e-scooter. The fact that the engineer admitted to the fact that he had sought psychological counseling because of his alcohol consumption and presented proof of abstinence also had a positive effect on the sentence.
Against him spoke that it was not his first drunk drive: The man has a relevant criminal record.
In the end, the judge found the perpetrator guilty of negligent drunk driving. The Criminal Code (Article 316) provides for such offenses a prison sentence of up to one year or a fine. The court considered a fine of 90 daily rates to be appropriate to the crime and to blame. The judge: “The behavior of the defendant has shown him to be unfit to drive a motor vehicle. His driving license was therefore to be revoked.” New papers may be issued to him in eight months at the earliest.
The judgment, which is not yet final, is likely to surprise many e-scooter drivers. Most people still regard the relatively new means of transport as a harmless gimmick – apparently also because of the limited speed. For example, e-scooters in Germany are allowed to drive at a maximum of 20 km/h, although there are also significantly faster devices on the market. The fact is: When driving under the influence of alcohol, the same rules do not apply as for cyclists, but the same alcohol limit as for drivers.
In Germany, users of e-scooters must adhere to the 0.5 per mille limit. There is even a strict ban on alcohol for novice drivers who are still in their probationary period and for drivers under the age of 21. A punishable drunk driving with the e-scooter is to be assumed at the latest from 1.1 per thousand. Then there is a risk of a fine or imprisonment of up to one year.
Drunken e-scooter drivers not only endanger others, but also themselves. It was only this Thursday that a “blue” e-scooter driver (46) fell in Cologne and had to be hospitalized with serious facial injuries. At the end of May, a 27-year-old from Bochum was seriously injured in an accident. Because he was drunk, he lost control of his e-scooter, collided with a car and finally fell.
But hefty penalties are not only due for driving under the influence of alcohol, there are also severe fines for other violations. FOCUS Online gives a small overview: