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OAP escapes mobility scooter drink-drive charge

Man in T-shirt with a don't drive drunk sloganA 65-year-old has escaped legal action despite being accused of driving a mobility scooter while under the influence of alcohol.

James Spangenberg-Ferrelli was accused of being over four times the legal drink-driving limit.

But he escaped prosecution because the scooter was too small to be classed as a road vehicle.

Spangenberg-Ferrelli was pulled over in Tiverton, Devon last November.

According to court documents, his breath test recorded a reading of 147mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath.

Over legal limit

The legal limit is 35mg per 100ml of breath.

The pensioner was charged with driving while unfit through drink and driving a motor vehicle while above the alcohol limit.

He was scheduled to appear at a third hearing at Exeter Magistrates' Court on Thursday.

Case dropped

But the case was dropped after no evidence was offered by the prosecution.

The prosecution was withdrawn because the defence solicitor involved argued that the scooter should not be covered by drink-driving laws due to its small size.

Mobility scooters & the law

Motoring lawyer Jeanette Miller, writing for on mobility scooters, drink driving and the law, said this mode of transport is not classed as a “mechanically propelled vehicle”, the definition used in most modern day motoring law legislation.

"So many of the motoring laws that apply to cars and other motorised vehicles do not apply to mobility scooter drivers or cyclists.

She adds: "If prosecutions are brought against operators of these “vehicles” a problem arises, as when it comes to punishing the offender there is no requirement to hold a valid driving licence to drive a mobility scooter or ride a bicycle."

The safest bet is always to not drive if you have drunk any alcohol, but you can work out how many units your drinks contain with our alcohol units calculator:


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