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Can Riding An Electric Scooter Cause You License Problems?

When we picture DWI (driving while under the influence) scenarios, we often picture drivers of passenger vehicles; however, Minnesota’s DWI definition is much more inclusive. In this blog post, we will explain how riding a scooter could result in losing your license.

Is A Scooter A Motor Vehicle?

It can be. Under Minnesota Statute 169A.03, subd. 15, the term “motor vehicle” includes every vehicle that is self-propelled and every vehicle that is propelled by electric power obtained from overhead trolley wires. The term includes motorboats in operation and off-road recreational vehicles but does not include a vehicle moved solely by human power.

Therefore, maybe somewhat obviously, if you are using a scooter that requires you to push it along with your feet, it is likely not going to qualify as a motor vehicle. However, if your scooter is powered by a motor, such as the rentable electric scooters offered by companies like Bird and Lime, those scooters may qualify as a motor vehicle.

DWIs & Electric Scooters

In Minnesota, when an individual receives a DWI charge, a license revocation almost always accompanies it. Because a scooter is defined as a motor vehicle, you can get a DWI on a scooter and suffer all the same consequences as those who receive a DWI in other types of motor vehicles (cars, boats, all-terrain vehicles, etc.).

If someone receives a DWI and loses their license, they can’t legally drive an electric scooter. However unlikely it may seem, if authorities find someone driving an electric scooter while their license is suspended or revoked, they could criminally charge the driver for driving on a suspended license. If authorities find someone driving an electric scooter while their license is suspended or revoked they could criminally charge the driver for driving on a suspended license.

If someone uses an electric scooter while intoxicated, police could charge the person for a DWI; therefore, someone could lose their license as a result of driving an electric scooter while under the influence.

Minnesota DWI & the New Law

In the past, the definition of “vehicle” in Minnesota DWI laws was speaking strictly of vehicles like cars and trucks, but that’s changed. On August 1, 2018, Minnesota enacted a much broader definition of vehicle, including recreational vehicles with normal motor vehicles.

Vehicles under the new law include:

  • All-terrain vehicles;
  • Motorboats;
  • Snowmobiles.

Surprisingly, rentable electric scooters offered by the companies Bird and Lime fit under the new “vehicle” category.

Want to Fight Your Charges?

If you or a loved one is criminally charged for driving an electric scooter, Caplan & Tamburino can help you fight your case. Our firm has represented thousands of clients in DWI cases, and we are more than prepared to fight scooter-related DWI crimes.

Call (612) 444-5020 now for a free consultation concerning your case!


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