Operating e-scooters while drunk

Operating an e-scooter in Germany can be both exciting and challenging. However, it is important to remember that some of the same rules apply to driving an automobile also apply to E-scooters. One of these rules is the prohibition of driving while intoxicated.

Because an e-scooter is considered a motor vehicle, you can lose your driver’s license if you operate an e-scooter while under the influence of alcohol. Under German law, you are subject to fines and other penalties for operating an e-scooter with a blood alcohol level of .5 “promille” or above, which is equivalent to the American measurement of .052 grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood.

Under U.S. Army Europe and Africa regulations, your U.S. Forces driving privileges will be suspended for 90 days if you operate an e-scooter with a blood alcohol level above the legal amount and the license will be revoked if the blood alcohol level is .08 or above.

While you are not required to have a driver’s license to operate an e-scooter, those that are too young to obtain a driver’s license may lose the ability to obtain one if they are caught operating an e-scooter while intoxicated.

Service members are also subject to non-judicial punishment and court-martial under the Uniform Code of Military Justice for operating an e-scooter with a blood alcohol level of .08 or above. In addition, a service member may receive a memorandum of reprimand from a general officer.

There are several other rules that apply to e-scooters:

  • riders must be at least 14 years of age
  • the scooter itself must have a valid permit (Allgemeine Betriebserlaubnis)
  • riders must have valid insurance for the scooter
  • the scooter must be able to maintain a minimum speed of 6 kilometers per hour and have a maximum speed of 20 kilometers per hour
  • riders are only allowed to drive on the street (but not the Autobahn or other limited-access roads) or bicycle paths.
  • In addition, riders are not allowed to operate the scooter on pedestrian sidewalks and pedestrian walkways, must always drive on the right side of traffic flow and must use hand signals for turns and stops.
  • When traveling on an e-scooter with a friend, riders are not allowed to ride side-by-side: you must operate your scooters in a single file. Wearing a helmet is strongly recommended.

For additional questions regarding the operation of e-scooters, contact your local legal assistance office.