At this year's Oktoberfest police caught nearly 800 people who were under the influence of alcohol at the wheel - or were. For well over half of the drunk driving offenders were traveling on an e-scooter. The most common consequence: driving license withdrawal.
According to its own statement, the Munich police found 774 alcohol trips, including 414 in e-scooter drivers. 254 scooter users were deprived of their driving license. Also in the 21 accidents in connection with e-scooters at the Oktoberfest 13 drivers were drunk. In total, 15 people were injured.
Many drivers are not aware of how dangerous driving is under the influence of alcohol, says Gerhard Hillebrand, specialist lawyer for traffic and criminal law. In an interview with DER SPIEGEL, he explains the consequences alcohol driving on electric scooters can have.
SPIEGEL: What threatens the many scooter drivers who drove alcohol after the Oktoberfest?
Gerhard Hillebrand: An e-scooter is a motor vehicle, so the same rules apply as for the car, not for cycling. The drivers have to expect the same consequences as when driving under the influence of alcohol.
SPIEGEL: So you probably lose your driver's license?
Hillebrand: That depends on the measured alcohol value: From 0.5 per thousand drivers commit a traffic immunity. If you get caught for the first time, you have to pay a fine of 500 euros and get a month's driving ban. With a value of more than 1.1 per thousand, you are absolutely unfit for driving and commit a crime. As a first-time offender this usually means a fine of 30 daily rates and the withdrawal of the driving license plus a blocking period of ten to twelve months. Then the driver's license office decides whether you get back the driver's license.
SPIEGEL: How do the authorities usually decide here?
Hillebrand: First-time offenders usually have no problem getting their driving license back unless more than 1.6 per thousand was measured. Then they have to medical-psychological examination, short MPU, and this exist once. But already dangerous are low alcohol values: You can make punishable from 0.3 per mille, if you show driving delays and, for example, snake lines. There are judges who deprive drivers of driving license because of a forgotten turn signal at just over 0.3 per thousand. And this alcohol value is reached quickly. Drink alcohol and e-scooter driving should never be combined.
SPIEGEL: Unlike the car, you can drive e-scooters from the age of 14 and without a driver's license. What consequences do minors or adults without a license have to fear if they get drunk on the scooter?
Hillebrand: Whoever does not have a driving license, can not be deprived of course. The driving license may have doubts as to the suitability for driving a motor vehicle in adolescents or adults who have been repeatedly misdemeanors for alcohol. If it comes within the scope of a criminal offense, conditions may be imposed, such as participation in special awareness-raising courses. But who is then again conspicuous, and here already enough alcohol in the field of an administrative offense, must go to the MPU, in order to make a driver's license later. It threatens in the case of recurrence, the imposition of an isolated period by the judge.
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SPIEGEL: Can young people therefore be permanently excluded from obtaining a driving license?
Hillebrand: Yes, if you can not demonstrably change your behavior and the MPU does not exist after the expiry of the court's suspension, which is normally limited in time to a maximum of 5 years or the court will impose a life-long blocking period in a very rare exceptional case.
SPIEGEL: Are people simply not used to the responsible use of scooters?
Hillebrand: That's hard to say. On the bicycle, alcohol is still seen as a trivial offense, here is the limit for the absolute driving inefficiency at 1.6 per thousand. In the population and also the judiciary is still often misunderstood how dangerous alcohol rides can be on the bike. After that has hardly changed in the last 25 years, I assume that it will take longer synonymous with the e-scooters.