Riders of Bird, Lime scooters could face DUIs

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It’s likely not the first thought when you hop on a Bird or Lime scooter in Music City.

“I think they’re fun to get around on,” said Josh Gamble.

“They’re definitely a good way to get around,” said Marlee Silverman.

But riders of motorized scooters in Nashville could soon face DUI charges if caught riding while intoxicated.

According to the Metro Nashville Police Department, since the Spring rollout of the scooters in the city, there haven’t been any recorded cases of scooter DUIs.

But criminal defense lawyer Rob McKinney said it’s just a matter of time until that happens.

“I wouldn’t be surprised,” said McKinney. “I just think people when they jump on it they don’t realize ‘Hey, I might be able to be charged with a DUI.'”

The key question is if the motors on the scooters fall under the definition of a vehicle in Tennessee’s DUI laws.

“It has a motor,” said McKinney. “It’s a gyroscopic motor that they have in those segways, but it is a motor.”

The Davidson County District Attorney’s Office agrees.

“They can either injure themselves or other people, particularly those pedestrians and the tourists that we have,” said Asst. District Attorney Ross Bourdreaux. “The D.A.’s office would treat them with the appropriate seriousness as we would any other DUI.”

If motorized scooters fall under Tennessee DUI laws, the scooter riders would face the same penalties.

A minimum of two days in jail, a fine of at least $350, special insurance, and court costs.

But it all depends on how the jury or judge interprets the state laws.

Until the first arrest happens, riders said more regulation can only help.

“Prevents people from getting injured or hurting other people,” said Silverman.

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