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Royal Navy sailor banned from the road after riding an e-scooter while over four times the drink-driving limit

Royal Navy sailor, 56, who crashed his e-scooter into a parked car while four times the drink-driving limit is banned from the road for nearly three years

  • Derek Wilkinson, 56, of Portsmouth was seen ‘wiggling’ by a police officer
  • He was banned from driving for 2 years and 8 months and £1,430 in fines
  • He was not given community service for his ‘previous good character’

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A Royal Navy ‘hero’ sailor has been banned from the road after riding an e-scooter while under four times the drink-driving limit and crashing into a car.

Derek Wilkinson, a Chief Petty Officer, was spotted by a police officer speeding past and ‘wiggling’ on the electric vehicle in his hometown of Portsmouth in Hampshire.

The officer then saw the drunken 56-year-old crash into a parked car and tumble onto the road.

A police breathalyzer showed he was nearly four times the drink-driving limit.

Derek Wilkinson, 56, at Portsmouth Magistrates Court where he was banned from driving for two years and fined £1,430 for riding a hired e-scooter while under four times the drink-driving limit

Wilkinson pleaded guilty to the offense and today was given a driving license disqualification for two years and eight months and was ordered to pay £1,430 in fines and costs at Portsmouth Magistrates Court.

The court heard that the senior sailor was spotted on the rental e-scooter at around 8 p.m. in Hants on December 4 last year.

After noticing that Wilkinson was “wobbly,” the officer saw him collide with the parked car and get off the scooter.

Graham Heath, prosecutor, told Portsmouth Magistrates Court: ‘He was speeding by a police officer and attracted attention because he was described as wobbly.

“It was only a matter of time before he fell off or crashed into something – both happened, in fact. The police then intervened.’

When tested, Wilkinson gave a reading of 130 micrograms of alcohol per 100 milliliters of breath. The legal limit is 35.

The e-scooter app, which drivers must download to rent one of the vehicles, states that it is an offense to operate them while exceeding the legal limit.

Howard Barrington-Clark, defending Wilkinson, asked for leniency “for everything he has done for his country.”

He added that Wilkinson plans to leave the Navy and live with his family in New Zealand and asked magistrates not to impose any community punishment, including unpaid work, that could jeopardize that.

Mr Barrington-Clark said: ‘[Wilkinson] is a hero, a saint and a fool – all three.

“Please don’t lock him up emotionally here. Show compassion and step outside the guidelines for once.”

Chairman Nick Mansfield told Wilkinson, “We’ve heard about you and we’ve reviewed the case and our sentencing guidelines.

‘You are a man of rather good character. Due to your personal circumstances, we do not consider it appropriate to impose community service.’

Instead, Wilkinson was fined £961 and ordered to pay £85 and a £384 surcharge.

Mr Mansfield added: ‘We are going to disqualify you from driving for 32 months.

“We offer you to reduce the disqualification by 32 weeks by taking a course.”

Wilkinson was denied community service by the judge due to his “previous good character” and personal circumstances as he intends to leave the Navy to live in New Zealand with his family

What is the law on drunk driving electric scooters in the UK?

E-scooters are classified as Personal Light Electric Vehicles (PLEVs), meaning they are subject to the same regulatory requirements, including MOT, tax and licensing.

The law on driving under the influence therefore applies to riding a scooter.

In December, Tyrone Drane, 26, admitted driving under the influence of alcohol on an electric scooter in Norwich.

Norwich Magistrates’ Court heard how he was arrested and found to have 144 milligrams of alcohol in 100 milliliters of blood. The legal limit is 50.

Drane pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle over the legal alcohol limit.

Last October, Sean McPeake, 31, was caught riding an e-scooter while drunk in Ipswich.

He told police he had had “a few pints.”

He failed a roadside breath test and was found to have 55 micrograms of alcohol in 100 milliliters of breath.

The legal limit is 35mcg in 100ml of breath.

In January last year, Dmitry Gromov became the first convicted of driving an electric scooter while intoxicated.

The 28-year-old from Shoreditch, east London, was drunk driving his e-scooter and crashed into a moped, injuring both the driver and passenger.

He pleaded guilty to drunk driving and careless driving at London Wall in the City of London.

He drove the e-scooter one and a half times over the limit on May 31, 2019 when the crash occurred and was found to have 134 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood. The legal limit is 80 mg.

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