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Skateboarder accused of drink driving has case rolled out of court

By Practice Group Leader, Road Traffic Defence

Skateboarder Remi Barban has had his £650 drink driving case thrown out after court rules he wasn't a road user.

Driving Offences Solicitor Paul Reddy says that few people in the UK can claim to not know that it is an offence to drive a mechanically propelled vehicle whilst in excess of the prescribed alcohol limit. However, few people know how exactly the law defines terms such as ‘driving’ and ‘mechanically propelled vehicles’.  

Strictly speaking the law is very unforgiving when it comes to the definition of “Vehicles” and “Driving”. For example with a vehicle, one can be said to be ‘driving’ if one is walking a scooter down the road without the engine even being on. Case law states that Courts should give consideration not only to the construction, nature and function of the vehicle but also of the circumstances of which it is used. The same consideration should be given as to whether the item is mechanically propelled as legally, this can extend to electrically driven vehicles as well as petrol and oil driven.

Thankfully in this case, common sense has prevailed in the magistrates finding Mr Barban not guilty. It’s a shame that it took such time and expense to resolve this issue, it should not have gone as far as a trial.

The police and the prosecution should really have had in mind that drink drive law is there to protect the public. A car being driven by an intoxicated driver is a dangerous thing indeed. A man on a skateboard is not in the same league. To extend the legislation in this way is in my opinion an abuse of the court process.  


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