Now that I am retired having been many years a magistrate with a long awareness of the declining freedoms enjoyed by the ordinary citizen and a corresponding fear of the big brother state`s ever increasing encroachment on civil liberties I hope that my personal observations within these general parameters will be of interest to those with an open mind. Having been blogging with this title for many years against the rules of the Ministry of Justice my new found freedom should allow me to be less inhibited in these observations.
Comments are usually moderated. However, I do not accept any legal responsibility for the content of any comment. If any comment seems submitted just to advertise a website it will not be published.
Sunday, 25 August 2013
BOARDING WITH EXCESS ALCOHOL
I`m a bit beyond the age of having been interested in skate boards. So I have even less knowledge of power assisted skate boards. I do have some experience of cycling; after all what`s the adage?…….nobody ever forgets how to ride a bike. I have been known (in the dim distant past) to be a little “over the limit” but not whilst being in charge of a bike. The law on drinking and cycling is not uninteresting. Electrically assisted bikes (when they comply with the statutory rules) are “mechanically propelled vehicles” under the Road Traffic Acts. The offence of driving a mechanically propelled vehicle while unfit through drink or drugs is available for the CPS, as is the related offence of being in charge while unfit. This offence carries a penalty including custody. (RTA ss.4(1), 4(2); RTOA s.9, Sch 2). The offence can be committed if one`s ability to drive properly is impaired – one doesn`t have to be incapable of proper control (RTA s.4(5)). So it seems that this offence is easier to commit than riding while unfit.
If an individual is accused of this offence the police can’t insist on a roadside test (breath tests, impairment tests etc) but can insist it be conducted at a police station or hospital. Failure to comply is an offence carrying a fine of up to £5000. (RTA ss.7(1), 7(6); RTOA s.9, Sch 2)
Returning to the subject of a skate board and its use by somebody having tested with excess alcohol it seems that perhaps the CPS review of their decision to prosecute Mr Remi Barban was flawed. That at least was the effective decision of colleagues at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Courtwho acquitted Mr Barban of drink driving whilst on his powered skateboard.
Personally I`ll stick to four wheels and no drinking.