Oklahoma DUI on a Scooter
What about DUI and the Bird or Lime Scooter?
The first wave of self-propelled scooters has arrived in Tulsa with the introduction of 50 Lime scooters and 350 more to come. Oklahoma does not a specific case involving these scooters and DUI, but the Statutes seem clear.
The law has 4 elements for a DUI charge:
- With blood alcohol level of .08 or more or under the influence of alcohol
- A motor vehicle
- On a public road or public place
If you are riding the scooter it will be considered ‘driving’ under current law.
The .08 element is the standard we see applied to any DUI charge but— Oklahoma also has a lesser charge of DWI which is .06-.08. These are two separate crimes but the point to remember is that the range for punishment begins at .06.
Lime and Bird are competitors offering similar products. The online specs for Bird show they have 2 tandem wheels, have handlebars and foot support. The specs for Lime are not online but, it appears that both companies’ scooters are unable to exceed 25 mph. The wattage of the Bird scooter is 500 watts and a reasonable assumption is the Lime scooter has similar power and clearly less than 1000 watts.
Title 47 O.S. 1-133.3 defines a motorized scooter as a vehicle not having more than three wheels, must have handle bars and a foot support or seat, have a power source capable of propelling the vehicle not more than 25 mph and if the power source is electric, the power output is not more than 1000 watts.
It seems clear these are motorized scooters as defined by Oklahoma law. Now we must ask does Oklahoma statutes consider them a motor vehicle? A motor vehicle is defined as “any vehicle” which is self-propelled. These scooters will fall under the definition of a motorized vehicle under Oklahoma law.
The fourth issue is the place of operation. If you are on the roadway it seems clear that the statue covers such a situation. What about the sidewalks or parking lots? Under Oklahoma DUI statutes for a DUI it will be considered a ‘public place’ and subject to the law.
If you are riding one of the scooters, the DUI laws will apply to you. Be safe.
If you or friends become involved with the law, please call Edge Law Firm at (918) 582-6333.