The man isn't surprised to be checked on his way home from work on a rented e-scooter.

Mehrdad Hashemi is an IT system manager at Telekom.

The fact that there are more accidents with drunk drivers of electric scooters is nothing new for him.

"I know quite a few candidates who have driven drunk before," he says.

Late on Monday afternoon, the Frankfurt police checked the drivers of e-scooters on the Roßmarkt until late in the evening.

It was about road safety, especially driving when drunk during the Christmas market.

The number of accidents involving e-scooters rose sharply in 2020.

The police registered 118 traffic accidents with 83 injuries in the Frankfurt area, with scooter drivers causing the accidents in 69 percent of the cases.

In the past year, the number of accidents was still in the "high double-digit range," said the police.

Most frequent cause of accidents: alcohol.

Therefore, the close proximity of the control to the Christmas market is an option, said the police spokesman.

Same alcohol limit as for driving a car

The police wanted to use "preventive and repressive measures to increase road safety in the long term," the spokesman continued. Many drivers do not seem to be aware that the same alcohol limit applies to scooters classified as small electric vehicles according to the 2019 regulation as to driving a car. This means that the same penalties also apply: From 0.5 per mille, there is an administrative offense with a fine, points and potentially a temporary driving ban. From 1.1 per thousand even a criminal offense with driving license revocation is fulfilled.

A driver reports that he has also got on the scooter "once or twice" under the influence of alcohol, and is also stopped.

“But where there is no plaintiff, there is no judge.” The 22-year-old scooter driver is aware of the dangers that can arise from driving under the influence of alcohol.

But he also says: “When you want to go home in the evening, sometimes you don't feel like taking the train.

Especially now with Corona. “He knows many who don't care about the alcohol ban anyway.

Police draw a positive conclusion

The other scooter drivers who are checked that evening are also aware of the problem. Grazia Vicino and Joshua Ketzler, both 26 years old, are driving into town from work that evening. “For shopping,” as they say. Both are permanent drivers and have had a monthly ticket with one of the providers for ten months. It is the first inspection for both of them, so they are accordingly surprised when Carsten Kehr, head of the inspection team, waves them to the side of the road that evening. “I think the controls are good,” says Vicino. More controls like this would counteract the increasing number of accidents, she says.

Scooter driver Maik Ziegler has a different opinion.

“I think it's just completely exaggerated to appear here with such a squad.

They definitely have better things to do. ”He says he is out and about with his own scooter and has been informed about where he can drive it, where he can park it and what alcohol limit applies.

“I only drive sober anyway,” he says.

The police draw a positive conclusion on this evening.

No cases were found in which drivers got drunk on the e-scooter.

Only five times were two people ridden on a scooter, but that was "manageable", says the spokesman.

Overall, they had "good conversations" and the people checked were "very cooperative".