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Scooter man's drink drive ban

PUBLISHED: 18:00 21 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:33 03 March 2010

A NIGHT on the town with his friends led to a Suffolk man being banned for drink-driving after he was stopped on his way home - on a powered scooter!

Steven Edmunds was stopped by police as he made his way along Norwich Road on a go-ped - top speed 15mph - and a breath test proved positive.

A NIGHT on the town with his friends led to a Suffolk man being banned for drink-driving after he was stopped on his way home – on a powered scooter!

Steven Edmunds was stopped by police as he made his way along Norwich Road on a go-ped – top speed 15mph – and a breath test proved positive. Edmunds, of Leiston Road, Saxmundham, pleaded guilty to the charge of drink driving after confusion as to whether the scooter was actually a motor vehicle.

Eventually a divisional court decision from last year confirmed that it was.

The 23-year-old was shocked that the scooter he was riding back to a friends on Norwich Road had caused this much trouble.

It is ridden while standing up and normally pushed along by feet, however this one had a very small two-stroke engine.

Edmunds, who described it as a "scaled up version of the ones kids ride round on", was surprised by the charge and shocked this had seen him labelled as a drink driver.

"They have no number plates and the DVLA said it was not even a registered vehicle. Scooting along on the pavement you don't expect to get done for drink driving. Its top speed is 15 miles an hour and that is pushing it. Everyone I have spoken to thinks it is totally ridiculous.

"I would never think about drink driving if I was in a car, it just would not cross my mind but this just seemed so harmless."

The court heard how police saw Edmunds on the pavement along Norwich Road late at night on June 20. He was weaving and had no lights or number plate. After following him for a while he was eventually stopped. A breath test showed he had 53 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

In defence Neil Saunders said: "This is a rather novel case and he genuinely did not realise he was breaking the law."

It is a lesson for anybody, if it has any kind of engine do not touch it, if in doubt do not ride it."

Chairwoman of the bench Maureen Bateman when passing sentence said: "We accept the legal position was not clear and when you look back on this you may see it as a completely pointless exercise which has cost you dearly."

Edmunds was fined £50 for driving with excess alcohol, £200 for driving while disqualified and £50 for driving with no insurance. He was also disqualified from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay £55 costs. If he completes a driver rehabilitation course his disqualification will be reduced by four months.

Edmunds is considering appealing after he found new evidence suggesting that vehicles under 20 kilogrammes may not be classed as motor vehicles.

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