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Oktoberfest: Hundreds caught riding electric scooters drunk during Munich beer extravaganza

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By Luke Hurst
E-scooters presented a new challenge for police at Oktoberfest this year
E-scooters presented a new challenge for police at Oktoberfest this year   -   Copyright  Reuters/Pixabay

Police in Germany cracked down on drunk electric scooter drivers at this year’s Oktoberfest, seizing 254 driving licences.

The use of electric scooters was legalised in the country early this summer, and police said the introduction of the publicly rentable vehicles presented themselves and organisers with a new challenge.

Police in Munich, the Bavarian capital where the annual beer festival is held, said there were 414 alcohol-related offences on e-scooters, with 254 people having their driving licenses taken away.

With e-scooters a relatively new introduction to European cities, many are unaware of the laws around them. 

In Germany, the same rules for drinking and driving a car as apply to e-scooters drivers.

The event organisers and the police also had to deal with the scooters being abandoned at the festival grounds. 

Police said more than 1,100 scooters were turned away at entry points throughout the 16-day festival, which ran this year from September 21 to October 6.

Read: More than 100 e-scooters fished out of the river in Lyon, France

The e-scooter rental companies blocked users from ending their trips in the vicinity of the festival, and those who left their scooters in areas they shouldn’t were removed and blocked from the apps.

The German government legalised e-scooters in May but banned their use on pavements.

Rentable e-scooters have posed a major challenge for many authorities in cities across the world since their introduction, with vandalism, dumping of scooters in rivers and dangerous driving being among the issues that seem yet to be resolved.

[More: A day in the life of an Oktoberfest waitress](Giant beers, tips and 15-hour shifts: A day in the life of an Oktoberfest waitress)

Oktoberfest is known as the largest folk festival (Volksfest) in the World, and it is famous in part for the large amounts of beer consumed.