'Walking a scooter while drunk is a crime': court
The Local · 14 Apr 2011, 16:54
Published: 14 Apr 2011 16:54 GMT+02:00
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It was in 2009 that the boy decided to go for a scooter ride after polishing off a bottle of tequila, but failed to start the engine.
Instead, he decided to pedal it forward with his feet but gave up after a few metres where he subsequently fell off.
Police breathalyser tests showed his alcohol blood levels to be seven times the legal limit. He was later charged with drunken driving.
Behind the different rulings was an old Supreme Court ruling from 1958 where a person was charged with drunken driving after going for an inebriated ride on a moped with a faulty engine.
Taking a ride on a broken moped while under the influence was deemed the same as going for a bicycle ride, and led to a Supreme Court acquittal.
While the district court referred to the old ruling as a precedent, the Court of Appeal ruled that scooters of today could not be compared to a 1958 moped.
Therefore the court saw no other choice but to convict the boy of drunken driving.
The Supreme Court also found for the prosecution when the case was heaed in the highest instance following an appeal by the boy’s lawyer.
"Unlike the current case, the previous one concerned a moped with a faulty engine that could also be pedalled," the ruling read.
The court found that the scooter in question had retained its status as a 'motor driven vehicle' and that the boy therefore must be charged with drunken driving.