There was a sign of relief this week for a skateboarder accused of drink-driving after magistrates’ decided his motorised skateboard was not classed as a motor vehicle.
Remi Barban was arrested in May 2012 in Bury St Edmunds after police witnessed him ‘weaving from one side of the road to the other’ on his skateboard.
When breathalysed he was more than twice the legal drink-drive limit, recording 86 micrograms in 100 millilitres of breath ? over two times the legal drink drive limit.
Barban had previously pleaded not guilty to driving with excess alcohol and driving whilst disqualified at Bury Magistrates’ Court.
Sarah-Jane Atkins, prosecuting, said the facts of the case were not in dispute, but whether or not the skateboard could be said to be a motor vehicle was. She told the court the website for the Eightball skateboard, which can reach speeds of up to 42 km/h, carried a disclaimer which says, ‘it is not legal to ride an electric skateboard on the public highway in the UK.’
Magistrates at Bury heard that Go-Peds, electric scooters and Segways were considered motor vehicles in previous court rulings, which had applied the test of a ‘reasonable person.’
Barban, who was previously banned from driving for 20 months in November, said his skateboard was not designed for use on roads and doing so was an ‘isolated case.’
Presiding magistrate Stephanie Challinor said of the skateboard: ‘We’re not satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that a reasonable person would say one of its users would be a road user.’
Barban was found not guilty of both charges.