DUI Scooter Laws in Arizona
Rent-able electric scooters have become a very popular way to get around cities. As they’ve grown in popularity though, more and more warnings have cropped up about safety while operating motorized scooters. The newest one is that you can be charged with a DUI while operating a motorized scooter, thereby needing the assistance of a DUI attorney.
Going barhopping using an electric scooter instead of a car seems like a good alternative – safer for you and others on the roads. As of December 13, the City of Scottsdale instituted a new regulation following repeated issues of drinking and scootering. As part of the ordinance, those who violate the terms don’t even have to be operating the scooter on the roadway. In fact, sidewalks, bike paths and bike lanes on the roadway are all now free game for getting charged with a DUI.
Penalties for violation
The blood alcohol content of the scooter rider will be tested and the same penalties as operating a car while under the influence will apply. That means that the lowest sentencing would be a $250 fine, probation, community service, and alcohol and drug education/treatment. The one difference in sentencing for a scooter DUI versus a car DUI is that you won’t have to install an interlock device on your car.
In addition to the DUI, you can get charged with reckless operation of the scooter. Reckless operation also applies to sober riders, so you should read all the rules and regulations concerning operating a scooter before renting one.
What happens to your record?
Because the violation for operating a scooter while under the influence is a misdemeanor, it will show up on your record. Given that you weren’t operating a car, it won’t show on your driving record, but it does show on your criminal record.
Because the City of Scottsdale is closely connected to the Department of Public Safety, the city will likely report your misdemeanor to the state. You’ll therefore have a criminal record on file at the state and not just at the city level if you’re convicted of the DUI while operating a scooter.
A misdemeanor on your criminal record could mean struggles getting a job. Background checks will show this misdemeanor offense to protentional employers. While many employers are much more concerned with felony charges, some of the stricter employers won’t hire you.
How to defend your case with a DUI attorney
Just as the charges for a DUI on a scooter match those that you would receive in a car, your rights about being pulled over and search apply while on a scooter. The Constitution protects you from being stopped illegally, meaning without probable cause.
Your right to be read your Miranda rights and avoiding self-incriminating language also applies when being pulled over on a scooter. These laws all mean that you cannot be pulled over for matching a certain description or simple curiosity on behalf of the officer.
Additionally, you have a right to challenge the results of a breathalyzer test and field sobriety test. There are circumstances where these fail to provide accurate results. Your best chance of avoiding sentencing is to tell the officer you’re going to respectfully decline questioning until your attorney is present.
Once you’re with your DUI attorney, you can receive counsel on the best questions to answer and which ones to avoid. This will help you to avoid going on record with information that could hurt you during court proceedings. If your case goes to trial, you’ll visit Scottsdale Municipal Court for your case.
Click here for information on how to fight a DUI charge for prescription drugs.