Drunk rider's £1,300 bill for damaging sporty Mercedes after falling off e-scooter in Northampton

Magistrates hand out 18-month driving ban after hearing 40-year-old was nearly three-and-a-half times over the limit

By Kevin Nicholls
Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 12:46 pm
Northamptonshire Police seized a number of private e-scooters during last month's crackdown
Northamptonshire Police seized a number of private e-scooters during last month's crackdown

A 40-year-old Northampton man who was nearly three-and-a-half times over the drink-drive limit landed himself a whopping £1,300 bill after falling off an electric scooter and damaging a parked Mercedes.

Tests showed Ricky John Joyce had 120 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath while on board a black scooter near his home Portland Place, Northampton, at around 6.30pm on December 6 last year.

The legal limit is 35 microgrammes per 100 millilitres.

Joyce denied drink-driving, having no insurance, driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence and failing to surrender to custody when he appeared at Northampton Magistrates Court last week.

He was found guilty and disqualified from holding a licence for 18 months, given a community order and told to pay £1,330.80 for damage to the Mercedes C220 AMG Sport.

E-scooters have grown hugely in popularity with people able to hire the distinctive orange machines in towns across Northamptonshire under a rental scheme with Voi launched last year.

Yet privately owned e-scooters — which are predominantly black — can only currently be ridden on private land.

They are classified as Personal Light Electric Vehicles and not road legal because of the machines’ power and low maximum speed, which means they cannot be insured.

Rented Voi scooters have insurance built in to hire agreements, but riders still need to obey other laws over drink-driving, road safety and riding on footpaths.

Police have warned anyone caught riding a privately-owned e-scooter on a public road could get a £300 fine and six points on your driving licence. The scooter could also be seized.

Northamptonshire Police launched a crackdown on the misuse of e-scooters last month.

PC David Okere, said: “It is currently illegal to ride privately owned e-scooters on public roads.

“That means that they cannot be used for anything but riding on private land – you will not be able to use them to commute to workplaces, to travel into town or even to ride outside your house if you do not own the land.

“The government may change this legislation in the future however, for now, police officers who see one being ridden are duty bound to uphold the law and you may be issued with a fine and have your scooter seized if you are seen riding one.”