GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Grand Rapids man faces a drunken driving charge after he was caught driving an electric bicycle along US-131, authorities say.
It happened June 14 in the northbound lanes of the highway near Ann Street. Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker said the man was driving the Lime bicycle on the shoulder and weaving in and out of the traffic lane.
“We’ve got a bike operating on a freeway, which clearly it’s probably more dangerous for the biker on the freeway, but you don’t know what the chain reaction causes. Somebody swerves because they’re trying to avoid a bike and goes into a another car and then you’ve got a complete disaster on your hands depending on who’s driving what vehicle and how many people are involved,” Becker said.
The 27-year-old, whose name News 8 is not using because he has not yet been arraigned, faces a charge under Michigan’s “super drunk” law. It’s a misdemeanor of operating with a high blood alcohol content level, but carries stiffer penalties. Authorities say his BAC was .19, more than twice the legal limit of .08.
The city does not track the number of drunken driving incidents involving e-scooters and bikes.
“Like with all modes of transportation, the City encourages people to have a plan in place before socializing like designating a designated driver or using The Rapid and DASH bus services or a ride share service,” the Mobile GR department said in an email to News 8.
In a statement, Lime said it has banned the man from its app permanently. The company also noted that “99.99%” of its rides globally are completed safely.
It says it uses geofencing and other features to prevent improper or intoxicated riding. The city said Lime can’t geofence US-131 because it would impact other nearby streets like Bridge or Pearl.