A 70-year-old man from Dungannon, Co Tyrone, who was drunk while driving a mobility scooter can not be banned from driving it, a Dungannon court heard.
Eugene Charles Brennan of Fairmount Park Dungannon had pleaded guilty to being drunk while he was driving his mobility scooter through Dungannon on November 8th, 2017. But was told at Dungannon Magistrate's Court he could still drive it because a driving licence is not needed for its use.
He was however, disqualified from driving other mechanically-propelled vehicles for 5 years and fined £200 on Wednesday.
Brennan was arrested after PSNI officers saw him in Georges Street in the town and noticed he appeared to have poor control of his scooter and was displaying signs of intoxication.
His breath sample showed a reading of 50 microgrammes of alcohol, 15 over the limit. He admitted the offence and a charge of resisting police was withdrawn.
Brennan was due to be sentenced last week but failed to appear and a bench warrant was issued.
In court on Wednesday, his defence solicitor said her client “suffered with ill-health and is reliant on the scooter which is his only method of socialising”.
Judge John Meehan said there was "a 10-year disqualified on record, after a long record of multiple episodes of drunk-driving".
He inquired if the court could impose a disqualification for the mobility scooter. The prosecution told him while it was a mechanically-propelled vehicle it did not require a driving licence and a driving ban would not be applicable. The court therefore could not stop him repeating his offending behaviour.
The judge then issued the fine of £200 and disqualified him from driving any vehicle requiring a driving licence for 5 years.