A bizarre attempt to prosecute a man using 19th century drink-driving legislation has failed.
Sixty-two-year-old Michael Green had staged a protest at his local McDonald’s restaurant after he attempted to go through the drive-thru on a mobility scooter.
Staff at the fast food outlet had refused to serve the defendant on the grounds that he wasn’t driving a vehicle, which triggered a stand-off in which the customer refused to leave.
Police arrived and Green was charged with being “drunk in charge of a carriage” after allegedly refusing to take a breathalyser test.
The legislation cited by officers – the 1872 Licensing Act – is seldom used today and was originally ushered in to help Victorians tackle anyone who attempted to use a carriage, bicycle or steam engine while intoxicated.
When Green, who is registered disabled, appeared before Skegness Magistrates Court last week, prosecutors admitted that pursuing the case would not be in the public interest – particularly since a trial would have cost in the region of £3,000.
Speaking after the hearing, the former HGV driver said: “When the police arrived they tried to breathalyse me but I wasn’t drunk. I just took it out after two seconds.
“They arrested me, put me in a police car and left my mobility scooter at McDonald’s. I was taken to Skegness Police Station where I was kept for two hours. They never breathalysed me in the station and then charged me under this stupid old law.”
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