Northern Ireland

Dungannon: Court cannot ban mobility scooter drink-driver

Dungannon courthouse
Image caption Eugene Charles Brennan, 70, of Fairmount Park attended Dungannon Magistrates Court on Wednesday

A court has been unable to prevent a Dungannon man from using his mobility scooter as part of a driving disqualification, as it does not require a licence.

Eugene Charles Brennan, 70, of Fairmount Park admitted driving his mobility scooter whilst drunk on 8 November 2017.

He was spotted by a police in George Street in the town.

Officers had observed that he appeared to have poor control of the scooter.

He was noted to be displaying signs of intoxication and was arrested.

His breath sample returned a reading of 50mcg of alcohol, 15mcg in excess.

'Only method of socialising'

He admitted the offence, and an additional count of resisting police was withdrawn.

Brennan was due to be sentenced last week but did not appear, resulting in a Bench Warrant being issued.

He attended court on Wednesday using his mobility scooter.

A defence solicitor said her client suffers from ill-health and is reliant on his scooter, which is his only method of socialising.

The judge said, "There is a 10-year disqualification on record after a long record of multiple episodes of drink-driving."

He enquired if the court could impose a disqualification on using the mobility scooter.

The prosecution said while it was a mechanically propelled vehicle, it did not require a driving licence, so any ban would not be applicable.

He remarked, "The court therefore cannot stop him from repeating his offending behaviour."

Brennan was fined £200 and disqualified driving any vehicle requiring a licence for five years.

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