Bird scooters, and other kinds of easy-to-rent electric scooters can be seen popping up all over North Carolina, particularly in college towns and busy metropolises. While these may seem like a fun and casual way to get around, it is important to understand that the same laws and rules apply to using them as apply to driving any other kind of car or vehicle. That is because electric scooters constitute vehicles under North Carolina law thanks to a 2005 case called State v. Crow.
Say No to Electric Scooters for Bar-Hopping
While it has become a bit of a popular trend to use electric scooters to hop from bar to bar, doing so can have serious repercussions. You can be charged for DWI on an electric scooter the same way that you can be charged with a DWI for operating a car. In other words, if it would be illegal to drive a car, it is also illegal to drive a scooter. There is not a lesser threshold or more relaxed restrictions just because it is a scooter. Driving an electric scooter with an open container or any kind of alcohol on your person can also be grounds for a DWI charge, just as it would be if you were driving in a car.
DWI For Riding an Electric Scooter
Just like operating a vehicle, you can be charged with DWI for riding an electric scooter if you are under the influence of an impairing substance, have a BAC over .08, and/or test positive for any amount of a Schedule 1 substance. You will notice that having a BAC over .08 is only one grounds for being charged with DWI. If you are driving recklessly and give police reason to believe that your driving is impaired due to a substance, this can be sufficient grounds to charge you with DWI even if your breathalyzer test results reflect that your BAC was under .08. Many people do not realize this until it is too late and take risks that they may not have taken otherwise.
How a Lawyer Can Help
If you are facing charges for DWI on an electric scooter, the penalties and potential consequences are the same and just as serious as they would be if you were charged with DWI while driving a car. Depending on the circumstances and your previous criminal record (especially any other instances of drunk driving or DWI) you may face fines, jail time, probation, or other penalties. The sooner you retain a lawyer, the sooner they can begin to look for the best course of action to take in your case. This may mean fighting the charges, moving to have them dismissed, attempting to negotiate a plea bargain to a lesser offense, or working toward a non-guilty finding.
Schedule a Consultation with Coastal South Law
DWI charges in North Carolina should be taken seriously, even if they occurred on an electric scooter. It is important to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible so that they can review your case and give you a sense of your options. Schedule a consultation with the experienced North Carolina criminal defense lawyers at Coastal South Law today.