The first of six defendants to appear in court charged with a drink-driving offence while riding an e-scooter has been banned from the roads for 12 months.
Student Joseph Vesey, 22, of Devonshire Place, Jesmond, Newcastle, was seen by police weaving along the road on an orange hire scooter – part of a new scheme in the city – at around 1am on February 25.
North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard an officer on duty on Osborne Road, Jesmond, stopped him and smelled intoxicants on his breath.
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 driving 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”.
He has simply not appreciated that these are not toys, they are classed as vehiclesSophie Allinson, solicitor for drink-driver Joseph Vesey
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 had no maliciousness.
“He has simply not appreciated that these are not toys, they are classed as vehicles,” she said.
Vesey has no previous convictions and was in full-time education, she said.
He opted to take a drink-drive awareness course which will reduce his ban by 12 weeks.
Five 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.