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Drunk scootering becoming an issue in Downtown Austin

Drunk scootering is becoming an issue in downtown Austin as the city is working with Austin police on safety issues with dockless scooters and bikes. (Photo: CBS Austin)

AUSTIN, Texas (KEYE) -- Drunk scootering is becoming an issue in Downtown Austin.

The city is working with Austin Police on the safety issues that have arisen with dockless scooters and bikes.

Food truck workers across downtown have seen it often. At early hours in the morning there can be a lot of people riding motorized scooters drunk.

“On Saturdays especially, Fridays and Saturdays,” Stephen Gietl said.

Gietl helps clean up the food truck yards on Rainey Street. He says at times it can be one drunk rider after another.

“I think they’re dangerous at that point, not only for the people on them but also for the people around them,” Gietl said.

Gietl said you can just kind of tell. Fortunately he hasn’t seen any crashes, but he says they can be very careless weaving around people on the sidewalk.

According to Austin Police riding a scooter while drunk can lead to a DWI.

Laura Dierenfield with the Austin Transportation Department said that issue hasn’t come up yet. She spoke at the Urban Transportation Commission meeting Tuesday night along with Jason JonMichael.

They talked about enforcement and other safety concerns like scooters riding in illegal areas.

JonMichael said these aren’t new issues, they’ve just become more “elevated” with the influx of thousands of dockless bikes and scooters.

“Essentially we’ve added a bunch of novice users to a mobility solution,” Jason JonMichael said.

JonMichael said they could work more with APD and they plan to do that in a planned meeting Thursday morning.

He said enforcement can help, but education can be one of the best tools.

Dierenfield also pointed out there have been vastly more injuries related to car crashes than scooters.

“We want to keep that in perspective as we look at what this is providing on balance for short trip transportation,” Dierenfield said.

Gietl said a DWI might be a little harsh for riding a scooter drunk. He gave another solution to the problem.

“I hate them, I’d like to take all of them and throw them in the trash can and recycle them or something,” Gietl said.

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