Last month, a 28-year-old man became the first person to be charged for driving under the influence while operating a Bird scooter in L.A., which has almost certainly inspired fear among the hordes of shit-faced hipsters who regularly take to the streets on these super fun motorized death-machines.
While the man definitely deserved some sort of charge — he knocked a pedestrian to the ground and proceeded to scoot away to a nearby apartment complex during his drunken odyssey, which also resulted in him being handed one count of hit-and-run — the fact that it’s even possible to get a DUI while riding a Bird scooter is sure to shock many.
But alas, that’s the law. “The scooters are a vehicle,” lawyer Mark Rosenfeld, aka “Mr. DUI LA,” confirms. “They’re propelled, even if the battery is dead.”
People, however, have been charged with driving under the influence while operating even wackier vehicles than motorized scooters….
In 2009, 28-year-old Kyle Wygle was charged with drunk driving after crashing his motorized bar stool — which was powered by a deconstructed lawnmower and could reach speeds of up to 38 miles per hour (Wygle claims that he was “only” going 20 miles per hour at the time of the incident) — while speeding down the street in front of his home in Ohio. While Wygle was being treated at the hospital for minor injuries, he told a police officer that he had drunk 15 beers before taking his stool-vehicle for a spin.
In 2010, 40-year-old Paul Hutton was pulled over by the police while drunkenly driving an electric Barbie car — which had a maximum speed of only four miles per hour — on a street near his home in Essex, England. The police administered a breathalyzer, which found that Hutton’s blood-alcohol level was twice the legal limit. Because Hutton had been previously cited for drunk driving within the past 10 years, he was banned from driving for three years and ordered to pay $130 in court fees. The police reportedly also impounded his Barbie car.
Cooler Heads (Don’t) Prevail
In 2008, 57-year-old Leslie J. “Bomber” Marr was pulled over by police while drunkenly operating a four-wheeled, motorized cooler called a “Cruzin Cooler” after leaving an American Legion post. While Marr refused to take a breathalyzer, police reportedly saw him swerving and driving on the sidewalk, which resulted in him being charged with driving under the influence and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. The motorized cooler, which can travel up to 13 miles per hour, also contained 14 beers, which certainly didn’t help his case.
In 2008, 62-year-old Dennis LeRoy crashed into a parked car while operating a motorized La-Z-Boy on his way home from a bar in Proctor, Minnesota. His blood alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit, and LeRoy was put on probation for two years after pleading guilty to drunk driving (or reclining, rather). One year later, his motorized recliner — which was equipped with a lawnmower-powered engine, a stereo system, a nitrous oxide booster, a parachute and a “Hell yeah it’s fast!” sticker — was put up for auction.
Earlier this year, Luis Alfredo Perez was administered a breathalyzer, which found that his blood-alcohol level was more than double the legal limit, after riding a horse along a busy freeway in Southern California on his 29th birthday. The horse, which is reportedly named “Guera,” was unharmed and released to Perez’s mother. Perez, however, wasn’t so lucky: He was booked into jail for driving (or riding, rather) under the influence.
Now excuse me while I find myself one of those motorized La-Z-Boys.