A FRESHBROOK man has been handed a three year driving ban after being found drunk behind the wheel of his mobility scooter.

But Michael Heaven branded himself a victim – saying the ban wouldn’t affect him as he no longer drives a car and terms of the disqualification meant he could still use his scooter.

The 56-year-old, who is the sole carer for his partner, told the Adver: “I feel a bit victimised. Even the solicitor said it’s something he’s never come across.

“I didn’t drive anyway.”

Mr Heaven was handed the ban after he pleading guilty to a charge of driving a mechanically powered vehicle – his burgundy mobility scooter – through Freshbrook village centre on June 9 whilst unfit through drink.

Magistrates sentenced him to a six month conditional discharge. It means he must not commit another offence until the end of the year or face being sentenced for the original driving charge.

He was also banned from driving for 36 months and ordered to pay a £20 victim surcharge.

Mr Heaven said he had been breathalysed by police after they were called to Freshbrook village centre for an unrelated incident. Tests showed he had 53 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

Wiltshire Police defended the decision to put Mr Heaven before the courts. Sgt Tristian Winter, of the county force, said: “This man was over one-and-a-half times over the drink drive limit and was convicted under Section 4 of the Road Traffic Act which essentially makes it an offence to drive or ride a mechanically propelled vehicle while impaired by drink or drugs.

“Members of the public should be aware that if they plan to use such a vehicle that they should not drink or take drugs as they are putting other people, and themselves in danger, and they will be caught and put before the courts.”

In the past, there has been some confusion over whether the those caught drunk behind the handlebars of a mobility scooter can be banned from riding it.

Last year, a district judge in Northern Ireland found he could not ban a 70-year-old repeat drink-driver from using his mobility – despite a lengthy record.

Prosecutors said because the man did not require a licence to drive it, he could not be banned from driving the scooter under the terms of a driving disqualification. District Judge John Meehan said, according to reports: “The court therefore cannot stop him from repeating his offending behaviour.”