Driving bans for students caught riding e-scooters over alcohol limit

Tom Wilkinson, PA
·2-min read

Two students caught drink-driving while riding e-scooters have been banned from the roads.

They were among six defendants charged with drink-driving offences after they were stopped while riding the electric hire vehicles on the same night in the same area of Newcastle.

Joseph Vesey, 22, of Devonshire Place, Jesmond, was seen by police weaving along the road on an orange e-scooter – part of a new scheme in the city – at around 1am on Thursday February 25.

North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard that an officer on duty in Osborne Road, Jesmond, stopped him and smelled intoxicants on his breath.

Student Joseph Vesey, 22, outside North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court, North Shields
Joseph Vesey outside North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Tests at the police station showed he had 49mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath when the legal limit is 35mg.

He admitted drink-driving and was banned from the road for 12 months and ordered to pay a fine, costs and a surcharge totalling £239.

His solicitor, Sophie Allinson, told the court there is a great deal of confusion regarding e-scooters and the law surrounding their use is “fast-paced”.

She said: “Unfortunately a number of people have not appreciated that these are motor vehicles – they are marketed as fun electric scooters.

“He had not appreciated for a second he was committing an offence by using one.”

She said the onus was on Vesey to know the law, but his decision to ride the e-scooter was not malicious.

“He has simply not appreciated that these are not toys, they are classed as vehicles,” she said.

Vesey has no previous convictions and is in full-time education, she said.

He opted to take a drink-drive awareness course which will reduce his ban by 12 weeks.

Student Jamie Swain, 21, outside North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court, North Shields
Jamie Swain outside court (Owen Humphreys/PA)

A separate hearing was told that Jamie Swain, 21, of Bayswater Road, Jesmond, had ridden around 20m when he was stopped by police in Acorn Road, around 300m-400m from his home.

The court heard the student was more than twice the legal limit, having given a reading of 73mg per 100ml of breath.

District Judge Paul Currer handed him a six-month driving ban after accepting the shortness of distance travelled.

Swain was also ordered to pay £319 in costs and fines.

Judge Currer said: “To drive when you are drunk creates a real danger to other road users and to yourself.”

Four more e-scooter riders were due before the same court on Thursday for similar offences said to have occurred in Jesmond on the same night.