If a new ministry proposal is approved, police will soon be able to breathalyse and fine cyclists and e-scooter users for riding while intoxicated.
The Ministry of Transport and Communications has submitted a law proposal which would limit the legal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of people on bikes and e-scooters to 0.5 promille (mg per ml of blood).
There has been a good deal of discussion about limiting BAC levels for people using light vehicles, particularly for riders of e-scooters. Last summer it was reported that around half of the accidents on the battery-powered devices in Helsinki were linked to the use of alcohol.
The ministry also wants to grant officers the right to stop cyclists and e-scooter riders to breathalyse and carry out rapid drug tests. Police do not currently have such legal powers.
If the proposal is implemented, drunk cycling or e-scooter riding would become a crime that carries penalties of day fines and up to three months in jail.
The ministry's law proposal also includes new parking rules for e-scooter users. The popularity of rentable e-scooters has grown exponentially over the past few years in a number of Finnish cities.
However, when e-scooter renters reach their destination, they often leave the devices strewn across pedestrian walkways and other precarious, inconvenient places. There are no hard laws on the books about e-scooter parking.
Earlier this year, the City of Helsinki announced plans to designate some car parking spaces in the downtown as e-scooter parking spots.
If Parliament approves the ministry's proposal, the laws are expected to go into effect by the summer of 2024.