Have You Been Injured? We're Ready to Fight for You.

Riding an E-Scooter While Intoxicated is Breaking the Law

Published on Sep 11, 2019 at 10:33 am in Scooter Accidents.

E-scooters are quickly filling up cities around the country. Cruising up to 15 miles per hour, the rental scooters are all over Chicago. While many visitors and locals are taking advantage of the new and efficient mode of transportation, not everyone is operating the vehicles responsibly.

Riders have been found riding the vehicles on sidewalks, leaving them in inappropriate places, running red lights, and striking pedestrians. One of the more dangerously irresponsible behaviors is riding an e-scooter while intoxicated. While some may not realize this, doing so is breaking the law. Not only could the rider face legal consequences, but they could hurt themselves or others.

The Dangers of Riding an E-scooter Intoxicated

E-scooter injuries are becoming a serious problem in cities like Chicago. A significant number of injuries are the result of intoxicated riders. While a person might assume riding a rental scooter while under the influence is safer than driving a car, this is not the case. Operating a scooter is just as dangerous because of the likelihood of injury. It’s easy for an inebriated rider to lose control of a scooter.

Drunk e-scooter riders might swerve into traffic and cause an accident. There’s also the chance of running over pedestrians. Fortunately for accident victims, legal action can be sought against a negligent e-scooter rider because operating any vehicle while intoxicated is illegal.

Illinois’ DUI Fact Book

The 2019 Illinois DUI Fact Book features information relevant to drivers of all types of vehicles. This book was issued in an attempt to combat drunk driving. Whether you’re driving a car or riding an electric scooter, the state DUI laws apply to you.

Driving under the influence is defined as operating a motor vehicle while impaired. Impairment can be from alcohol, drugs, intoxicating compounds, or methamphetamine. In Illinois, drivers are legally considered drunk if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) higher than 0.08 percent. Within the state, the average DUI offender is male, around the age of 34, arrested between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. on a weekend, and caught with a BAC of 0.16%.

While some may think the state’s definition leaves out e-scooters because of the term “motor vehicle,” this is not the case. In fact, according to federal regulations, a motor vehicle is self-propelled and able to transport a person or material. While an exception does state vehicles that travel until 25 miles per hour do not fall into the category of a motor vehicle, it’s up to law enforcement officers to determine if you are riding an e-scooter under the influence and what consequences come with that.

Understanding Electrical Scooter Companies’ Policies

When you rent an e-scooter, you have to agree to the terms and conditions set out by the company. As of September 2019, there are ten e-scooter companies in Chicago: Bird, Lime, Lyft, Jump, Spin, Sherpa, Bolt, Grüv, Wheels, and VeoRide. When you accept the user agreement, you are contractually bound to what it says. A number of the user agreements discuss how riders are supposed to refrain from riding the devices while intoxicated.

For example, the Lime user agreement does not allow anyone with a major alcohol or drug-related incident in the past seven years to rent its scooters. Under the Prohibited Conduct section, riders agree to not use the vehicles while under the influence of alcohol or any other substance that impairs their ability to operate the scooter. If someone chooses to do so, they are not covered by Lime in the event an accident or injuries occur.

Bird is the other well known e-scooter rental company. They have similar conditions in their user agreement. In addition to that, they instruct users to refrain from riding if they’ve been drinking any alcohol as part of their safety guidelines.

Seek Recovery Today 

While there are no laws in Illinois that ban drinking and operating an e-scooter, it’s likely that legislation will arise in the future. Even without specific laws, operating a scooter under the influence can be considered a crime, especially if someone gets hurt.

If you’ve been injured by a negligent e-scooter rider, Thomas Law Offices can help you seek compensation for your losses. Determining liability and proving fault can be challenging when it comes to electric scooter accidents, but we have the knowledge and experience needed to help you recover financially and get back on your feet. To learn more about the benefit of seeking legal representation after a personal injury accident, contact our office today. We’ll explain your legal rights and options, so you can make an informed decision regarding filing a claim.

Free Case Evaluation

At Thomas Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys recognize that our potential clients are likely going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We don't want you to have to worry about paying out of pocket for legal advice when you're just starting to learn your legal rights and options. That's why we provide free case evaluations. We'll offer our expert advice about your potential case and walk you through how we can help you.

Call us or fill out the form below to tell us about your potential case and a personal injury lawyer will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Meet Our Founder

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

Legal & Firm News

What Is Article 16 in a Personal Injury Action?

You may have heard the term “Article 16” used in discussion of a civil legal case. This specifically refers to Article 16 of the New York Civil Practice Law & Rules. A personal injury case—when one party pursues legal action after being harmed by the negligence or wrongdoing of another party—may be impacted by the […]

Read More

What Is Considered a Reasonable Person When It Comes to Negligence?

You’ve been injured, and now you need help paying your medical bills, making up for your lost wages, and addressing your pain and suffering. So who pays for these damages? The financial liability for your related damages usually falls on the at-fault party and (in most cases) their insurance provider. The insurance company won’t just […]

Read More

What Is the Difference Between Lawyer and Attorney?

Most of us have heard the terms “attorney” and “lawyer” used interchangeably as if they mean the same thing. And, while there used to be a marked difference between the two words, that’s not actually the case here in Chicago or anywhere else in Illinois anymore. Below, we’ll highlight the historical difference between the use […]

Read More
Tad Thomas on The National Crime Victim Bar Association
National Civil Justice Institute - Trustee
Tad Thomas on Lawyer Minds
Tad Thomas on American Association for Justice
Southern Trial Lawyers Association
Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
Ohio Association for Justice
Kentucky Justice Association
Fellows of the Litigation Counsel of America
Martindale Hubbell Preeminent
2021 Public Justice Member
AAJ Masters of Trial Law: Champion