Drunk on an electric scooter in Switzerland? You could lose your driving licence

A man attempting to have his blood alcohol results struck out as evidence after an e-scooter crash has lost his appeal, with the court likely to uphold a decision to strip the man of his driving licence and convict him for drunk driving.

Drunk on an electric scooter in Switzerland? You could lose your driving licence

They’re marketed as a fun way to get around, particularly in urban areas – but for one man in the western Swiss canton of Vaud, a drunken scooter escapade looks like resulteing in him losing his drivers licence and a potential criminal conviction. 

In October of 2019, the man crashed an e-scooter after falling over the handlebars in the middle of the night, injuring his jaw and losing several teeth in the process. 

When approached by police after the incident, he said he had consumed four of five glasses of wine and took full responsibility for the accident. 

READ: Mobility wars: Lime e-scooters return to streets of Zurich 

The incident took place in Nyon, around 25 kilometres from the Geneva city centre. 

While police declined to breathalyse the man at the scene, he was later blood tested in the hospital. 

The current court case was hearing an appeal from the man, who sought to have the results of the blood test struck from the record.

The court ruled that the evidence of the blood test was admissible as there was an interest in taking the blood test and determining the results.

The man is likely to uphold both the loss of licence as well as the conviction for drink driving. 

Switzerland changed its way of measuring alcohol limits in 2016, with 0.25 mg/l in exhaled air now the relevant limit. More information on determining this level – and the consequences for driving drunk – are available here

In Switzerland as well as neighbouring Germany, e-scooter riders and cyclists risk losing points or their drivers licence completely for irresponsible driving – even though a drivers licence is not a requirement to ride. 

E-scooters have grown in popularity across Switzerland among locals and tourists alike, although there have been a range of safety issues – including a software glitch which required a recall of Lime scooters from Basel and Zurich

E-scooter users are restricted from using footpaths or roads and are required to travel no faster than 20km/h. 

For an extensive breakdown of the rules for using e-scooters, please click here


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Where should you take your car for service and repairs in Switzerland?

If you own a vehicle, sooner or later you will need to have some work done on it. But it is important to know who in Switzerland can provide the best service.

Where should you take your car for service and repairs in Switzerland?

There is certainly no shortage of garages or auto mechanics in this country, who are ready and willing to work on your car.

In all, there are 16,232 garages across Switzerland, most of them located in the Zurich area, with Bern in the second place. 

However, regardless of where in Switzerland you happen to live, chances are there is a car mechanic in your area.

That’s a good thing, of course, but a mechanic — no matter how skilled — may not be able to do all the repairs you need.

Garages versus dealerships

A lot depends on what exactly ails your vehicle.

If you need regular maintenance or service — which usually includes checking the brakes, suspension, steering, exhaust, oil, fluids, and lights, as well as performing an overall safety check — then any reputable garage can do the job.

Also, if you have been involved in an accident and need body work (on your car, not yourself), then a garage that has a bodywork shop will be a good fit.

Can you have your car repaired or serviced at a different garage from the one where you bought it?

According to Comparis consumer platform, “you are free to choose any garage. Minor repairs in particular, such as changing a windscreen wiper or buffing out a scratch, can basically be done anywhere.”

The only exception would be if your auto insurance excludes free choice of garage. and you must use only ones that your provider works with. 

(This is as good a time as any to remind you that car insurance is obligatory in Switzerland).

READ ALSO: Everything you need to know about car insurance in Switzerland

However, there are times when you should not take your vehicle to just any garage, opting instead for the authorised dealer of your car’s brand, or its partner garages — especially when the car is still under the manufacturer’s warranty.

Why is this important?

 “Our partners undergo specialised training provided by the importer and hold licenses as mandated by the manufacturer,” Lucas Alvarez, a spokesperson for Hyundai Switzerland, told The Local.

“This meticulous preparation ensures that any warranty-related work can only be executed by these authorised partners,” he added.

This is valid for all manufacturers, regardless of the brand.

If you are not sure where these manufacturer-approved garages are in your area, go on the manufacturer’s Swiss website and contact their customer support team.

How long do these repairs take?

They could take a while, and not only because this is Switzerland.

The timeframe depends on what needs to be done, but prepare to be patient.

The pandemic had disrupted production cycles, with manufacturers having cut back orders for spare parts. There are also fewer automotive parts from Ukraine-based suppliers.

“It is unfortunately still the case that electronic parts require a certain delivery time and are also partly on backorder, so it may well be that it takes several months to receive certain parts,” Alvarez said. “Like most car manufacturers, we are dependent on the respective suppliers.