e-DWI

The operator of this gas-powered scooter was appallingly sober.

In less than a week after rentable electric scooters hit the mean streets of Albuquerque, we’ve collected our first e-DWI. ¡Salud!

I suppose we could look on the bright side here. Had our early adopter not gotten popped for allegedly e-scooting under the influence — the cops say she got all beered up at Marble Brewery and had planned to hit at least one more grog shop downtown — she probably would’ve clambered into her land yacht and driven home to Belen, an hour or so to the south, depending on how many ditches and medians one inspects en route.

Or tried to, anyway. ¿Quien sabes? Having had some small experience in these matters I expect it’s a lot easier to hide one’s impairment from the John Laws behind the tinted windows of a four-wheeled Ford than on one of their two-wheeled throwaways.

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38 Responses to “e-DWI”

  1. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    It would seem drunks could do far less damage with an e-scooter than a car or truck, e- or otherwise. Do you need a license to ride one of these? How ’bout a bicycle? If they catch and convict you of DWI on something that does not require a license to operate, what do they do to you?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I think about the driver who makes a legal turn onto Second and smacks into this beered-up scootist riding the wrong way and blowing through the intersection. Wouldn’t put much of a dent in your Dodge, true, but hosing her off your windshield would stick in your mind for a while, I imagine.

      As I recall from Colorado, you could not be assessed points against your license for bicycling drunk, since you didn’t need an operator’s license to cycle. But you could be penalized for DUI/DWI, because despite the lack of any license requirement you were still considered to be operating a vehicle.

      This is one of several reasons why it was not smart of me, that time I got told by a Denver cop to park the truck and walk home, to pull a bicycle out from under the camper shell and cycle home.

    • khal spencer Says:

      The DWI charge might not stick if the lady is smart and contests it. I had a chat with the League of American Bicyclists lawyer once about New Mexico law. Our DWI law only applies to the operation of “vehicles” and if an e-scoot is not classified as a “vehicle” the DWI law does not apply by the wording of the statute. Bicycles, for example, are defined as “devices” so while public intox applies, DWI does not. So I wonder if the state has gotten around to figuring out how to define these contraptions.

      At a recent BTAC meeting in Fanta Se, we were debating what the city should do with rentable e-scoots. So I asked the cop at the meeting (and the cop on the corner, and the one in the grocery store, and the one on the woodpile, and the one on the rooftop, and the one knocking at your back door) question “what makes e-scoots great”….er, I mean whether they are vehicles; sorry, I got carried away, and neither the cop nor the city lawyers knew the answer so I suspect the state is behind the curve. Here is the motor vehicles page on this crap.

      http://www.mvd.newmexico.gov/vehicle-procedures-manual.aspx?1f7fcb5548ee4e17a47ff4e27e571a01blogPostId=ec45f29f43944fb8a848cd27a012a8b1#/18b

      Nice thing about being drunk on an e-scooter is that as Larry says, you will probably be far less dangerous to anyone other than yourself.

      These rentable e-things are currently illegal to operate in the City Indifferent. At least for two years while we watch how everyone else bugger things up.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        This is gonna get interesting. APD told KOB-TV 4 that e-scooters are considered mopeds, subject to traffic stops and citations (the operator, not the device).

        The law seems confusing as regards whether moped operators need a driver’s license to ride anywhere or just on New Mexican highways, a word that seems to describe just about any flat surface.

        I hear lawyers chatting up real-estate agents. “Yep, another beach house in San Diego, chop chop. I want to see a Ferrari in that garage before closing, too. And a boat at the dock.”

        • khal spencer Says:

          Seems the APD cop didn’t check with MVD: A moped is a two-wheeled or three-wheeled vehicle with an automatic transmission and a motor having a piston displacement of less than 50 cubic centimeters, that is capable of propelling the vehicle at a maximum speed of not more than 30 miles an hour on level ground, at sea level.

          This will be hilarious and indeed, send in the lawyers.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          I think the e-scooter could meet the moped definition. It has wheels, a motor, a throttle, an automatic tranny, and can’t top 30 mph. To use the things Spin says, “You must be 18 years and older with a valid driver license,” which of course means jack shit.

          It’s certainly a vehicle as defined by state code:

          Vehicle
          every device in, upon or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, including any frame, chassis, body or unitized frame and body of any vehicle or motor vehicle, except devices moved exclusively by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.

          Someone has done intercoursed the penguin here, legally speaking. We should crowdfund a lawyer for this young hammerhead, have a bit of fun at the State’s expense.

          • khal spencer Says:

            Except for the piston thing, which demands an internal combustion engine. But I’d have to look at NM Statutes rather than MVD and not gonna go there on Sam’s dime.

          • khal spencer Says:

            Can e-scoots be transported or drawn upon a highway? Bring on the penguins, er, I mean, the lawyers!

          • Patrick O'Grady Says:

            I’d want Counselor Pelkey in my corner for this one. Ho boy, would we have some fun.

          • khal spencer Says:

            I suspect this will get sorted out by the courts. Should be fun to watch. Me? I wouldn’t want to ride one of those infernal devices on Santa Fe’s roads. Potholes would swallow those little wheels and toss you on your head.

      • mike w. Says:

        Go ahead, ask ‘im.

    • SAO' Says:

      The PTC30269 used to be home, and this was always a big issue.

      http://peachtreecity.11alive.com/m/news/news/peachtree-city-police-crack-down-golf-cart-duis/65070#bmb=1

  2. debby511 Says:

    I’ve read about people being prosecuted and convicted for DWI/DUI while riding a bicycle. Seems like BS, but I guess you could still run over a pedestrian and injure them.

    Walking/staggering home is no bueno either – then you get arrested for public intoxication. Best just to do your drinking at home, as in the George Thorogood song.

  3. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Ah, the Vespa rides again. However, the Honda Super Cub, yea they brought it back, had bumped the Vespa out of my pipe dreams.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Isn’t that cool? What a beauty. Here’s the Honda page on that bad boy.

      I like the big wheels. The itty-bitty muthas on the Vespa give me The Fear when cornering.

      • larryatcycleitalia Says:

        Those wheels don’t slow anyone down in Napoli! Even on the streets paved with the huge, uneven blocks.
        On another kind of related subject, I rode an e-bike the other day. A Favaloro with the Polini motor. http://fm-bike.com/modelli/e-bike/e-bike-road/
        I started at level 3. Seemed to me the turning of the cranks basically just tells the computer/battery/motor how fast you want to go. There’s not much feeling of propelling the bike. Crank it up to level 5 and the thing’s a rocket ship that makes you think you could take on Cipollini in a sprint! I dunno what riding one of these things is, but it’s NOT bicycling.
        My opinion that if I want a motorized 2-wheeler I’ll get a Moto Guzzi has not changed.

    • khal spencer Says:

      I went a little bigger.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      That ain’t much of a scoot there, Hoss. Looks like a question mark in a little blue box to me. Y’mean one of these?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      This is about as outrageous as I’m likely to get anytime soon … though that Honda is tempting. But goddamnit, I’d have to take the MSF class, and get the motorcycle endorsement, and all that old shit. With the Vespa I just twist and go.

      The Vespa, again

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Pure class. Pure cool. The Vespa is once again in my pipe dreams. I just wish I didn’t have to go to Tucson for one. The Super Cub dealer is just a mile, literally, down the road from here. An old buddy has owned the dealership for 40 years. My last motorcycle, bought in 1982, came from him. A 1982 Yamaha Vision. Pretty radical for its time.

        • khal spencer Says:

          That is really nice, Pat. My last bike before a 25 yr layoff was a ’79 Honda CX 500. Rode the wheels off of that thing while in grad school. Then I moved to Honolulu and it was too crazy for a moto.

          Speaking of midsize, I almost sprang for a BMW F800GT but the dealership wanted a hefty price and meanwhile, a guy up here in Santa Fe was quietly selling the R1200RS for a price I couldn’t refuse. Plus, I always craved a traditional boxer BMW. Call me a fool for appearances.

    • khal spencer Says:

      That’s sweet! For bumping around town, would be nice as long as it can get out of its own way when some maniac is bearing down on you.

  4. Dale Says:

    I used to work in a small town where a friend of my late father lived. My Dad died at 92 in 2007. His friend is the same age and going strong – or at least as strong as you can go at 104. His daughter sold his car years ago, but he still has a Ford row crop tractor from the 1960’s. I used to sit in my office and hear him coming up Washington Street driving the Ford to McDonalds for a senior coffee and a chat with new friends (all of the old friends were dead).

  5. DownHill Bill Says:

    George Jones was once caught for DUI riding his lawn mower to the liquor store. Gotta admire the gonzo style anyway. Tammy was not amused.

    I never had a moto ‘cause the old lady said “It’s me or a motorcycle. I know how you drive and I’m not taking care of an invalid.” She was right. She moved out years ago but I now have (marginally) enough sense not to buy one. I’ve broken enough bones and planed off enough skin, etc. etc. without a motor. Also, I remember the summer evening she came home from work (ER nurse) and talked about spending the afternoon with a pair of tweezers picking gravel out of a guy who’d been riding in cutoffs & flip-flops.

    A moto-nut friend once wanted me to take a ride on his Ducati for my birthday. I sat on the thing and it scared the hell out of me without even starting the motor. “A man’s got to know his limitations” as Clint Eastwood once put it. Khal must be more mature than I’ll ever be.

    • khal spencer Says:

      “Khal must be more mature than I’ll ever be.”

      More likely, just lucky. If I was a religious person I would ascribe it to the St. Christopher medal my mom gave me when I bought my first death machine.

  6. Herb from Michigan Says:

    I had a Kawasaki 250 in the way back. That little SOB would wait until I was a good 30 miles or so from home and burn a clutch out or get a carburetor spazz and I’d have to call the old man to come fetch me and it with his pickup. Seems like it was always late at night too. One time I just left the goddamn Kaw in a ditch for two days I was so pissed at it for khacking out. It was still sitting where I’d flung it so back to the garage workshop we went. First and last motorbike for Herb.

  7. Patrick O'Grady Says:

    Death Machine

    I lusted after one of those kit motorbikes you’d see advertised in Boy’s Life or Grit or whatever. The little buggers with lawnmower engines and squatty wheels and what have you. The parents said never happen and I forgot about it until high school, when a buddy took me on his Honda scrambler for a 90-mph ride on I-25 through downtown Bibleburg. Then I forgot about it some more, and real fast too.

    I remember another friend, or maybe it was the same one, trying to teach me how to ride a smallish motorcycle, probably a 125, on the athletic field at Washington Irving Junior High. I crashed it about three times in the grass and we both lost interest.

    The deal that probably kept me off motorcycles, and thus alive to tell the tale, was my lack of a driver’s license until age 23. I had a license and a car for about a year around age 18 but a train took care of that. Once I finally got licensed and insured again, the folks gave me a Datsun pickup for graduation, I started moving around the country at random, and that was that. There was no room in my life, or my truck, for a motorcycle.

  8. JG Says:

    My Dad was a doc… we had seat-belts in the car before they were standard equip & the non-negotiable rule “no motos ever”. Probably the only reason I’m still here & can collect my social security.

  9. John A Levy Says:

    A friend of mine showed up 15 years ago with a Yamaha 1100.
    said take it for a ride I have had a moto endorsement since 1975. got that thing out of third gear at 85 into fourth on a dirt road hit the ripples form a bad grader got sideways at 95 kept it up and came straight back. scared the living bejesus out of me. the lemond and the trek get me all the speed I need.

  10. Hurben Says:

    I was always a Yamaha man. Ht190, DT400B, IT425 for dirt & XS750F, SR500, XV1000RH for road, (not all at the same time).

    I did have a Suzuki GT550 triple but that was at the height of the first fuel crisis & that two-stroke only had a 15-litre tank & was as thirsty as a college student downing a beer so it went.

    I do have an interest in vintage Moto-Cross, (VMX), unfortunately, the bikes are in far better condition & work better than my body which is of a similar vintage.

  11. JD Dallager Says:

    48 years ago I had a Yamaha 360 Enduro moto … single cylinder with a compression release to help kick start the thing. Even w/the compression release, the kick-starter would occasionally come back and do a good job of ruining my lower leg. I was out enduro’ing in the boonies one day and the front wheel went thru a big concealed hole in a rotten wooden bridge. Big endo! When I woke up, still in one piece albeit pretty trashed, I decided that that would be the last of my moto days. Parachuting and high performance jets were enough adrenaline rush.

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