Extreme measures considered for drunk scootering in NJ
New Jersey is considering a revision to the state's drunk driving laws to include bicycles, electric bikes, and scooters.
With the proliferation of low speed vehicles in the state, the law is ambiguous when it comes to how to handle intoxicated operators.
The New Jersey Law Revision Commission has begun a study on the level of confusion and may recommend revisions to the legislature.
In 1985, an appellate court ruled that bicycles were not motor vehicles, and New Jersey's DWI laws applied only to engine-powered vehicles.
Since that ruling, technology has produced a variety of "engine powered vehicles," including electric bikes and battery powered scooters.
Most accept the idea that people should not be operating a scooter or bike while under the influence, but the legal waters are muddied when looking at how the devices can be treated under existing laws.
The commission will draw upon existing cases from New Jersey's court system as well as how other states have handled the issue.
If it is ultimately decided to make drunk biking and scootering a specific crime in New Jersey, there will also have to be some form of punishment.
Some have suggested the suspension of your motor vehicle driver's license, but that is controversial.
In 1982, an appellate court ruled against such a suspension, and said such an action would not deter drunken cycling.
A report will be forwarded from the commission to lawmakers at some point in 2023. Recommendations are not binding, and the legislature could choose to take no action.