From the start of the year until 15 November, police detained 21 people in Portugal for riding scooters with an alcohol level equal to or greater than 1.2 grams/litre, more than tripling the number of arrests from the previous year.

PSP told Lusa that scooter drivers have been the target of "both of inspection and awareness actions" by the authorities, following the increasing trend of scooters use and the consequent issues related to road safety.

In 2017, two citizens were arrested for driving scooters with blood alcohol greater than 1.2 g/l, and no arrests of this nature were recorded in 2018.

However, in 2019, the year in which there was an exponential increase in the use/circulation of this type of vehicles, 50 citizens were arrested and, in 2020, considering the restrictions of the pandemic context, six people were arrested.

In the context of offenses related to driving scooters under the influence of alcohol, the PSP registered eight administrative offenses in 2017, four in 2018, 21 in 2019, 10 in 2020 and 14 between January and October 2021.

The PSP have appealed to all citizens who daily or casually use these vehicles to do so with respect for public road users, whether for their own safety or for the safety of third parties.

A technological solution?

Meanwhile, Bolt, an app that allows for the hiring of scooters and bikes, has developed a technological innovation to test whether the user of an electric scooter is intoxicated, which could prevent them from unlocking the vehicle and making a journey.

This feature will be operational between midnight and 6am and will be "a reaction test in which the time for responding to a 'game' will be measured to assess whether the person is able to drive safely".

In the mobile application, after choosing the scooter trip, the user will have to play a game (with the image of a helmet) that will appear on the screen, being asked to tap the image in order to measure reactions times.

If the reaction is considered too slow, the application recommends requesting another form of transport, such as a taxi or public transport, and blocks the choice of the scooter option.

The new feature was presented in Lisbon and, according to the head of Micromobility at Bolt in Portugal, Santiago Páramo, is part of the objective of “promoting safety in the circulation of scooters”.

“This is about following our safety prevention policy, which will be available in the six Portuguese cities where Bolt is located”, said Santiago Páramo.

According to Bolt, the use of electric scooters has grown by around 70 percent in Lisbon since 2019.