Motorized rental scooters have become a common sight in Southern California since their introduction last year, with their share of critics. On Wednesday, Los Angeles officials reported the city's first conviction for scooting under the influence.
City Atty. Mike Feuer said his office had secured a misdemeanor conviction against Nicholas Kauffroath, 28, who was riding a Bird scooter on a sidewalk in West L.A. when he knocked a pedestrian to the ground and scooted away to a nearby apartment building without stopping to render aid, reports the Los Angeles Times.
When police officers found Kauffroath, Feuer said, his blood-alcohol level was measured at .279, more than three times the legal limit.
Kauffroath pleaded no contest to one count of operating a motorized scooter while under the influence, and one count of hit-and-run, officials said.
Kauffroath was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to pay a $550 fine, Feuer said. He was also ordered to pay restitution to the victim, complete a three-month DUI program, and stay off scooters while drinking.
"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."