E-scooter hire firms use apps to determine if a rider has been drinking

E-scooter hire companies are running pilot schemes to stop people riding their vehicles intoxicated.

Firms such as Tier, Europe’s largest e-scooter operator, and Voi, will use apps so riders don’t ride fuelled with alcohol

Research released last month revealed e-scooter-related injuries are most likely to occur at the weekend when riders are fuelled with alcohol. 

Tier, which is one of London‘s three official e-scooter hire firms, will use its app to ask riders if they have been drinking and will direct them to order a taxi if they have been. 

E-scooter hire companies are running pilot schemes to stop people riding their vehicles intoxicated, including Tier, Europe's largest e-scooter operator, which will use its app to ask riders if they have been drinking and direct them to order a taxi if they have

E-scooter hire companies are running pilot schemes to stop people riding their vehicles intoxicated, including Tier, Europe's largest e-scooter operator, which will use its app to ask riders if they have been drinking and direct them to order a taxi if they have

E-scooter hire companies are running pilot schemes to stop people riding their vehicles intoxicated, including Tier, Europe’s largest e-scooter operator, which will use its app to ask riders if they have been drinking and direct them to order a taxi if they have

Voi, another hire firm, has an in-app game which tests users reaction times and, if they fail, will be asked to think again before hiring a scooter, The Sunday Times reported.   

Another operator, Bird, asks riders to enter a keyword between 10pm and 4am, in a scheme known as Safe Start.   

The limit in the UK is 80mg of alcohol for 100ml of blood, while in Scotland there is a lower limit of 50mg. 

The penalty for being in charge of a vehicle while over the limit may include three months’ imprisonment, a fine of up to £2,500 and a driving ban.  

E-scooter drivers are prone to alcohol-fuelled risk taking, such as kerb jumping, the analysis of e-scooter injuries in the German city of Berlin revealed.

Research released last month revealed e-scooter-related injuries are most likely to occur at the weekend when riders are fuelled with alcohol

Research released last month revealed e-scooter-related injuries are most likely to occur at the weekend when riders are fuelled with alcohol

Research released last month revealed e-scooter-related injuries are most likely to occur at the weekend when riders are fuelled with alcohol

The authors found alcohol consumption prior to e-scooter use was linked to increased odds of brain injury and hospital admission, regardless of experience on the vehicle. 

The worrying findings were published the same day rental electric scooters hit the streets of London as part of a trial involving six of the city’s boroughs. 

It is the first time e-scooters will legally be allowed on the UK capital’s roads, although private e-scooters continue to be illegal in public areas in the country. 

Amazingly, helmets are recommended as part of the UK government-backed trial, but riders are not legally required to wear one. 

Over the next 12 months, more areas expected to join the UK government-backed programme, with 60 to 150 e-scooters being available to rent in each borough initially.

Voi, another hire firm, has an in-app game which tests users reaction times and, if they fail, will be asked to think again before hiring a scooter

Voi, another hire firm, has an in-app game which tests users reaction times and, if they fail, will be asked to think again before hiring a scooter

Voi, another hire firm, has an in-app game which tests users reaction times and, if they fail, will be asked to think again before hiring a scooter

The government hopes e-scooters will offer Londoners an accessible and environmentally-friendly method of travel, without emitting greenhouse gases like petrol and diesel vehicles.  

Privately owned e-scooters are banned on UK public roads and e-scooter rollout has been tentative. 

E-scooters made the headlines in July 2019, TV presenter and YouTube influencer Emily Hartridge was killed while riding her e-scooter in Battersea, London.

She is believed to be the first person to die in the UK in an accident involving an e-scooter. She was later ruled to be riding too fast with an under-inflated tyre when tragically killed in a crash with a lorry.         

What is the law on drink-driving electric scooters in the UK? 

E-scooters are classified as Personal Light Electric Vehicles (PLEVs), which means they are subject to all the same legal requirements including MOT, tax and licensing.

Drink-drive laws therefore apply when riding a scooter. 

In December, Tyrone Drane, 26, admitted drink driving on an electric scooter in Norwich.  

Norwich Magistrates’ Court heard how he was arrested and found to have 144 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 50.

Drane pleaded guilty to the charge of driving a vehicle above the legal alcohol limit.

Last October, Sean McPeake, 31, was caught riding an e-scooter while drunk in Ipswich.

He told police he’d had ‘a couple of pints.’

He failed a roadside breath test and was found to have 55 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. 

The legal limit is 35mcg in 100ml of breath.

In January last year, Dmitry Gromov became the first person convicted of drink-driving on an electric scooter. 

The 28-year-old, from Shoreditch, east London, rode his e-scooter while drunk and crashed into a moped injuring both the driver and pillion passenger.

He pleaded guilty to drink-driving and careless driving at London Wall in the City of London.

He drove the e-scooter one-and-a-half times over the limit on May 31, 2019 when the crash occurred and was found to have 134 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood. The legal limit is 80mg.  

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