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“Scooter DUI” Exists in California and It Is Slightly Different from Other Charges

Posted on in DUI

San Francisco DUI defense attorneyAbout two years ago, the state of California had its first-ever “scooter DUI” conviction. The accused pleaded no contest to one count of DUI and one count of hit-and-run. As a result, he was sentenced to 36 months of probation, a $550 fine, a three-month alcohol treatment program, and payment of restitution to the victim of the hit-and-run. In other words, in California, you can be charged with DUI from driving on a scooter under the influence. In fact, this particular DUI offense carries with it distinct legal guidelines and penalties different from most other DUI charges.

Scooter DUI Is Different from Most DUIs—and Can Be Defended More Easily

The DUI laws are slightly different for “scooting” around on scooters relative to other vehicles. While it is true that just like traditional DUI with other vehicles, you could be charged if suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both, there are some subtle differences that will alter the way the case is handled. Overall, these types of DUIs are different from other DUIs in the following ways:

  • While true that an officer can consider you “driving under the influence” if it seems as if your driving abilities are impaired by substances you have consumed, there is no prerequisite for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to be at .08% or higher in order for the driver to be considered impaired. This means if pulled over on your scooter for driving under the influence, you will not be required to submit to a BAC test, be it a breathalyzer or a lab test of some sort (blood, urine, etc.) 
  • As a result, with no scientific tests supporting the arresting officer’s assessment, he/she must rely on his/her observations when pulling over the driver. If that officer does not have strong supporting data, such as vivid and documented observations of the driver’s appearance, attitude, behavior, physical and driving abilities, etc. at the time of the arrest, or if the officer fails to administer a sobriety test, there is no blood or breath test for the prosecution to rely  on in the courtroom in order to win the case.
  • In addition, overall, the punishment for scooter DUI tends to be less severe than other typical DUI cases provided it is not compounded with other charges. A scooter DUI charge alone is considered a misdemeanor with fines in the lower hundreds of dollars and no other serious penalties, although it does result in a criminal record by virtue of the misdemeanor count.  

Contact a Richmond County DUI Defense Attorney

Whether you have been accused of a scooter DUI or any other type of DUI, you are going to need to hire a knowledgeable Napa scooter DUI defense lawyer. Contact the talented team from Burglin Law Offices, P.C. at 415-729-7300 for a free consultation. They will thoroughly study your case and figure out the best strategies to help you get the best chance at a fair trial and a positive outcome.

 

Sources:

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=VEH&division=11.&title=&part=&chapter=1.&article=5

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/09/27/los-angeles-secures-first-motorized-scooter-dui-conviction/1450040002/

https://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2019/04/26/beer-week-scooters-bikes-dui/

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