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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

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Cumbrian man's ban for drink-driving at 5mph on scooter

A disabled Cumbrian man has been banned from driving for doing 5mph on his mobility scooter – while he was more than three times the drink-drive limit.

Glendale Rice photo
Glendale Rice

Lawyers believe Glendale Rice, 58, may be the first person in the county to have been prosecuted for drink driving on an electric scooter.

The former market trader, who says he is crippled by arthritis, lives alone in a remote caravan with his pet hen Limpy.

He was stopped as he made the hour-long five-mile trip from his caravan home near Seaville to Abbeytown.

A woman police officer arrested him on a narrow country lane after spotting the battery-powered mobility scooter shortly before 8pm on Monday.

Pam Ward, prosecuting at Carlisle Magistrates’ Court, said Rice told the officer he was going to the shops to buy Oxo cubes, a pie and cider for his birthday, two days later.

He had recently acquired the scooter and used it to get around because he has arthritis and his legs were particularly painful.

“When the officer spoke to him she could smell intoxicants on his breath,” said Mrs Ward.

Rice was then given a roadside breath test, and he failed it, she said.

Tests showed he was around three times the legal driving limit for alcohol.

In court, Rice pleaded guilty to drink driving.

Magistrates fined him £100, and imposed court costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £15. They also banned him from driving any motor vehicle for a year – though he will be allowed to continue using his scooter because it does not require a licence.

But police have told him if he uses the scooter again he will need to make sure he is sober when he does so.

Rice told magistrates he would make sure he did not use the scooter when he had been drinking.

Speaking after the case, Rice said he felt the police were right to pull him over. “It was fair enough,” he said.

The former market trader, who now works on the nearby farm, lives in his caravan without electricity.

He said: “The scooter does a maximum of 5mph and it takes me an hour to get to Abbeytown and an hour to get to Silloth.

“It’s important to me.

“I wasn’t wobbling on the scooter when I was on it, and when I got to Abbeytown the shop was shut anyway.

“The police said I can still use it but I shouldn’t drink anything beforehand.”

Rice, who has no driving licence, said he had lived alone in the caravan, near to Winclose Farm, Seaville, for two years.

He added: “I’m all right here – my hen regularly lays eggs for me and I’m growing my own potatoes and the scooter means I can get about. There’s nothing wrong with it.”

Have your say

If one of them hit you in the ankles at 5mph I reckon it would fairly hurt!

Posted by Lm on 14 July 2011 at 13:10

Travelling at 5mph, David, will still cause some damage if the user isn't capable of handling the vehicle.

I've seen plenty of near misses in Carlisle city centre caused by ignorant people in mobility scooters blasting around at max speed.

Fact is, if this thing hits you at 5mph it will hurt and can, in some cases, kill you.

Posted by Brian on 3 August 2010 at 10:08

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