In an interview with the Verge, Lime co-founder and executive chairman Brad Bao said the company’s scooters may soon be able to keep inebriated riders safe. Bao said the e-scooter company is currently working on a drunk driving detection feature.
“We can just slow down the vehicle where we detect irregular driving,” he said.
“Our scooters have all kinds of sensors that can sense whether it’s driving in a straight line or whether it’s wobbling. We do the warning. We can slow it down. We’re still working on it. It’s not launched, but that’s an example of many things that we’re improving right now on the issue of data,” Boa explained.
The first incident involving a drunk scooter rider occurred back in September, when a man who was three times over the legal limit hit a pedestrian with a Bird electric scooter. The Los Angeles City Attorney’s office said 28-year-old Nicholas Kauffroath was the first person in the city to face charges for riding an electric scooter while under the influence.
According to data collected by the University of San Diego Medical Center, 42 patients were admitted for e-scooter related injuries between 2017 and 2018. Of those patients, only one rider had been wearing a helmet. A total of 48 percent were measured to have a blood alcohol level higher than the legal limit for intoxication and 52 percent tested positive for illegal drugs.
Dockless e-scooters deployed by Lime, Bird, and other companies can reach up to 25 miles per hour. Riders who don’t operate them in a safe manner could risk injuring themselves or others. Officials have noted that drinking while riding a bike or scooter is also illegal.
"Drinking while operating a vehicle, a bike-or a scooter-is not only illegal, but can lead to serious injury or worse," the Los Angeles City Attorney's office said in a press release.