Drunk on an electric scooter in Switzerland? You could lose your driving licence

Drunk on an electric scooter in Switzerland? You could lose your driving licence
Photo: PHILIPPE LOPEZ / AFP
A man attempting to have his blood alcohol results struck out as evidence after an e-scooter crash has lost his appeal, with the court likely to uphold a decision to strip the man of his driving licence and convict him for drunk driving.

They’re marketed as a fun way to get around, particularly in urban areas – but for one man in the western Swiss canton of Vaud, a drunken scooter escapade looks like resulteing in him losing his drivers licence and a potential criminal conviction. 

In October of 2019, the man crashed an e-scooter after falling over the handlebars in the middle of the night, injuring his jaw and losing several teeth in the process. 

When approached by police after the incident, he said he had consumed four of five glasses of wine and took full responsibility for the accident. 

READ: Mobility wars: Lime e-scooters return to streets of Zurich 

The incident took place in Nyon, around 25 kilometres from the Geneva city centre. 

While police declined to breathalyse the man at the scene, he was later blood tested in the hospital. 

The current court case was hearing an appeal from the man, who sought to have the results of the blood test struck from the record.

The court ruled that the evidence of the blood test was admissible as there was an interest in taking the blood test and determining the results.

The man is likely to uphold both the loss of licence as well as the conviction for drink driving. 

Switzerland changed its way of measuring alcohol limits in 2016, with 0.25 mg/l in exhaled air now the relevant limit. More information on determining this level – and the consequences for driving drunk – are available here

In Switzerland as well as neighbouring Germany, e-scooter riders and cyclists risk losing points or their drivers licence completely for irresponsible driving – even though a drivers licence is not a requirement to ride. 

E-scooters have grown in popularity across Switzerland among locals and tourists alike, although there have been a range of safety issues – including a software glitch which required a recall of Lime scooters from Basel and Zurich

E-scooter users are restricted from using footpaths or roads and are required to travel no faster than 20km/h. 

For an extensive breakdown of the rules for using e-scooters, please click here

 

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