Can I get a DUI on a Motorized Skateboard in San Diego?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Feb 22, 2016 | 0 Comments


Electric skateboards and so-called “hoverboards” are increasingly popular in San Diego and elsewhere. But while a new California law makes these boards legal, it also makes riding one under the influence a crime.

In October 2015, Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 604 into law. Effective January 1, 2016, the new law allows people 16 and older to ride electric skateboards in California bike lanes, bike paths, sidewalks, trails and roads where the speed limit is 35 miles per hour or less. Skaters must wear helmets under the new law, and if you're riding at night, your board needs to have a light and reflective gear.

But the new law also makes it very clear that since these electric boards can go very fast and pose a safety risk to the rider and others, riding one under the influence in San Diego or anywhere in California is against the law. Specifically, Section 21296 of the California Vehicle Code states that:

  • It is unlawful for a person to operate an electrically motorized board upon a highway while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or any drug, or under the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and any drug.
  • A person arrested for a violation of this section may request to have a chemical test made of his or her blood or breath for the purpose of determining the alcoholic or drug content of that

A conviction for a violation of Section 21296 shall be punished by a fine of not more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250). While the consequences of being convicted for riding a skateboard under the influence are obviously and significantly less than those for driving under the influence and is not a “DUI,” San Diego riders should be aware that their board can still get them in trouble with the law if they've had a few too many drinks.

If you've been charged with a crime in San Diego, please give one of our experienced San Diego criminal defense attorneys a call to discuss your situation and explore your options.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

Southern California DUI Defense attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT).


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