After a night out in the city, you might think that renting an e-scooter is a safer and more cost-effective way for you to get home. If you’ve been enjoying a few drinks, however, this line of thinking could be dangerous. Driving a rental scooter while drunk is just as dangerous as getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.
It’s also just as illegal. Here’s what you need to know about the DUI laws and consequences in Illinois:
Illinois DUI Laws
You might not know this, but you can get a DUI for driving an electric scooter while intoxicated. While the law does not explicitly mention scooters in their drunk driving laws, their verbiage does imply that electric scooters are eligible for DUIs. Illinois law states that a driver cannot be under the influence of drugs or alcohol while driving “any vehicle.”
State code defines a vehicle as a device “by which any person or property is or may be transported… except devices moved by human power.” Since e-scooters are propelled by a motor, they fall under the state’s definition of a vehicle. This means that you can be charged with a DUI if you drive an e-scooter while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Consequences of a DUI
When you drive an electric scooter while intoxicated, you can get into serious crashes with fixed objects, cars, or even pedestrians. If you do get caught operating an e-scooter while intoxicated, the decision comes with serious consequences:
- First Offense. If it’s your first DUI offense, you could spend a maximum of one year in jail, pay a fine of $500 minimum, and you lose your license for a year. If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was at or above .16%, you could also serve 100 hours of community service.
- Second Offense. After your second offense, you could spend anywhere between 5 days to a year in jail, pay a fine of $1,250 minimum, and lose your license for 5 years. If your BAC was above .16%, you would spend a minimum of two days in jail. If you had any passengers under the age of 16, jail time and fines could raise significantly.
- Third Offense. After your third time getting a DUI, you will spend between 10 days to 7 years in jail, pay a maximum fine of $25,000, and lose your license for 10 years. Like the second offense, jail time and fines raise if your BAC is above .16% or if you have a passenger under 16 years old.
Ways to Get Home Safely
In Chicago, we have plenty of cost-effective ways to get home after a night out on the town. Here are just a few ways you can get home safely after drinking:
- The Metra
- The L
- City Buses
- Rideshare apps
We Can Help with Your E-Scooter Case
If you were riding an e-scooter and got into an accident or were involved in an accident with someone who was riding a scooter, it may benefit you to seek legal representation if you feel the collision was a result of someone else’s negligence. Krzak Rundio Gorman, Injury Attorneys may be able to help. Reach out to our office so that we can begin discussing your potential claim today.