Lime Scooters and Alcohol: Better Safe than Sorry
Because of this, it may be surprising to hear that in September 2018 the Land Transport Agency issued a declaration essentially saying that those who drink and decide to ride Lime Scooters cannot be charged with a drink driving offence. They have deemed that the scooters’ engines are not powerful enough to make them ‘motor vehicles’, and a person can only be charged with drink driving a ‘motor vehicle’, not any other vehicle. While this information may make a few people breathe a sigh of relief, those who like to jump on a Lime after a big night aren’t quite out of the woods.
Something to be aware of is that Lime Scooter riders can be charged with other offences, such as careless driving. A Lime scooter may not be a motor vehicle, but it is still technically a vehicle. An operator of any vehicle can be charged with careless driving. Because drinking alcohol can naturally make a person careless, there is a chance that someone who is drinking and riding a Lime could face a careless driving charge.
Further, every Lime Scooter rider has to agree to the Terms and Conditions of use, which says that you must not ride the scooter if you have had enough alcohol to impair your ability to safely operate it. The result of this is that if you cause damage while riding a Lime under the influence of alcohol, you may have to personally foot the bill for it because you are breaching the User Agreement.
The moral of the story is that while you cannot be charged specifically for ’drink Liming’, the police could well find another offence to charge you with, and you may face personal liability for any damage you cause. It pays to also be aware that the law is always evolving in order to stay relevant. If the number of Lime Scooter accidents keeps increasing we may well see a specific drink driving charge brought back in for Lime Scooter riders, so it is always best to err on the side of caution.
Author: Lucy Young - Law Clerk