Two U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division agents were arrested in Kaiserslautern, Germany, May 21, 2023, on charges of operating rented scooters while under the influence of alcohol.

Two U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division agents were arrested in Kaiserslautern, Germany, May 21, 2023, on charges of operating rented scooters while under the influence of alcohol. (Kaiserslautern Police)

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was updated June 29.

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Two agents from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division stationed in Germany were arrested by Kaiserslautern police last month for using rented electric scooters while under the influence of alcohol.

“German police watched the agents activate electronic scooters and then arrested them for DUI before they rode the scooters,” said Jeffrey Castro, a spokesman for CID.

The pair activated the scooters May 21 at around 1 a.m. in downtown Kaiserslautern, Westpfalz police commissioner Kai Fauss told Stars and Stripes on June 29.

One of the agents measured with a blood alcohol content over .05%, while the other agent had a blood alcohol content over .11%, which indicates that one of them will likely face a criminal charge, Fauss said.

The agents, who weren’t named in accordance with German privacy rules, were handed over to military police and later released to their unit following the May 21 arrest.

“Army CID takes allegations of misconduct seriously, and both agents have been suspended from their duties pending potential disciplinary action,” Castro said.

The growth of e-scooter rentals worldwide has corresponded with a rise in U.S. military personnel facing legal consequences for riding them after drinking alcohol. In 2021, soldiers in South Korea were arrested for a hit and run on their scooter in Seoul.

In Germany, alcohol was ruled off-limits last July for the Fort Stewart, Ga.-based 1st Armored Brigade, which was deployed to the Grafenwoehr Training Area in Bavaria, after multiple off-post incidents involving drinking and illegal e-scooter use, according to Army officials.

Shortly afterward, German police partnered with the 21st Theater Sustainment Command and the American Forces Network for an awareness campaign.

German law treats e-scooters as motor vehicles, and riders are subject to the same blood alcohol limits.

A blood alcohol content of .05% or above will result in a DUI on an e-scooter, Westpfalz police commissioner Yong Degen said.

Based on age and blood alcohol content, German authorities can assess an administrative offense, equivalent to a misdemeanor in the U.S., or send a criminal charge to prosecutors.

A level above 0.11% is considered a crime, Degen told the 21st TSC in an August 2022 statement.

A first-time administrative offense will receive a fine of around 500 euros, a two-month license suspension and two points on the German drivers’ registry, he added.

A criminal conviction can carry a larger fine and up to one year of jail time.

CID said their cases were pending prosecutorial decisions by German authorities. It remains unclear what kind of disciplinary action the agents may expect, CID told Stars and Stripes on Friday.

“The Army will take appropriate disciplinary action once the cases are adjudicated; it’s too soon to speculate what those actions could be,” Castro said.

Kaiserslautern police reported a total of 54 cases of driving under the influence on e-scooters so far this year, with 17 of those cases involving American riders.

“E-scooters are not toys,” Westpfalz police said in a statement Monday.

author picture
Alexander reports on the U.S. military and local news in Europe for Stars and Stripes in Kaiserslautern, Germany. He has 10 years experience as an Air Force photojournalist covering operations in Timor-Leste, Guam and the Middle East. He graduated from Penn State University and is a Defense Information School alumnus.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now