(ABOVE: Andrea Kroenig photo)
For the second time in a week, a scooter rider has been charged with Driving While Intoxicated in Hoboken.
At 6:30 p.m. on Sunday night, Hoboken Police Officer Joshua Campoverde witnessed Erin Slavin, 26, of Morganville, New Jersey, as she drove a motorized scooter into a car that was in the process of pulling out of a parking spot near 9th & Washington Streets.
Upon striking the vehicle, Slavin hit the ground and lay motionless, but remained conscious. As he went to assist, Officer Campoverde detected the smell of alcohol. Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corps personnel arrived, at which point Slavin reportedly became verbally combative, insisting that she wanted to leave.
HPD Sgt. Ed Sellick performed a Field Sobriety Test, and Slavin was arrested for Driving While Intoxicated (Scooter), DWI School Zone, Reckless Driving. Police say she was later found to be double the legal limit.
Last week, a scooter rider was arrested downtown for DWI after attempting to flee Hoboken Police Officers on the scooter. hMAG reported that as the first such arrest, however, we were later informed that another party was arrested for DWI on a scooter back in August after being severely injured in a crash.
“Our department is always proactive in the area of DWI Enforcement. We do this in order to keep drunk drivers off the roads so that they don’t have the ability to hurt anyone including themselves,” said Hoboken Police Chief Kenneth Ferrante. “Just three weeks ago, we had five DWI Arrests on a Sunday evening during a six hour period. A person can be arrested for DWI for operating any vehicle or mode of transportation that is not muscle powered. With new legislation signed by Governor Murphy in May of 2019, E-Scooters were added to our roadways. Operators of them, if found to be intoxicated, will be arrested for DWI and face the same penalties as if they were operating a car. This was our third DWI arrest for an individual operating an E-Scooter. The first individual fell off an E-Scooter while intoxicated, and sustained multiple non-life threatening injuries including fractures. That occurred on August 14th on 6th and Hudson St.”
Scooters in Hoboken have been under intense scrutiny since their rollout on May 20. A rider was arrested a month later for attempting to flee police on the Waterfront after colliding with a pedestrian. Last month a scooter collided with a mother and child on the sidewalk, prompting Hoboken City Council to crackdown on safety with bans in parks and on the Waterfront.
Nevertheless, the program’s popularity in Hoboken is significant, with Lime most recently reporting 390,000+ trips by over 60,000+ unique riders since May. Riders enjoy the ease and convenience of the rideshare scooters, as a way to navigate short journeys around the Mile Square City and its traffic-choked thoroughfares.
Hoboken City Council recently voted 8-0 to approve a proposed new contract with Lime that will see 35 cents per ride go to the City for the duration of the pilot program. That money is reportedly meant to be invested in enforcement, education tools, and enhanced transportation infrastructure—including protected bike lanes.
Hoboken’s e-scooter rideshare pilot program is set for review in November, at which point the City will decide whether to maintain the agreements or terminate the program.