City Attorney Mike Feuer said Thursday the prosecution of 28-year-old Nicholas Kauffroath was the first motorized scooter driving under the influence legal case with a charge in Los Angeles.
Nicholas Kauffroath was riding a Bird electric scooter on a sidewalk in West Los Angeles when he knocked down a pedestrian and neglected to stop or find help. Authorities later took Kauffroath into custody, where they found that he was intoxicated with a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit.
Nicholas pleaded no contest to one count of operating a motorized scooter while under the influence and one count of hit-and-run. He was placed on 36 months of probation, fined $550, required to complete a three-month DUI alcohol program and ordered to pay restitution to the 64-year-old pedestrian victim.
“Drinking while operating a vehicle, a bike — or a scooter — is not only illegal, but can lead to serious injury or worse,” Feuer said in a statement. “This conviction demonstrates our office’s continued effort to enforce our drunk driving laws and make our streets and sidewalks safer.”
Motorized rental scooters have taken cities across the U.S. by storm, as they are an affordable, convenient means of transportation. But along with their popularity, there has been a rise in concerns.
Before customers can ride, they are required to confirm that they will not ride while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or medication.
California’s laws against operating a vehicle while impaired are most commonly applied to drivers. But the restrictions also apply to motorcycles, bicycles and motorized scooters.
Don’t drink and scoot.