Drunk woman drove mobility scooter on wrong side of road

Christine Bey. Picture: Alexander Lawrie
Christine Bey. Picture: Alexander Lawrie

HORRIFIED motorists called police after a woman on her mobility scooter drove drunk in the dark the wrong way along one of Edinburgh’s busiest roads.

She was eventually stopped before an accident could happen by police officers near Dalry who found a bottle of booze in her lap.

Bey, from Leith, was abusive and struggling with officers as they tried to pull the whisky from her grasp before she tried to drive off.

She then shouted “piggy bast***s” at the officers and had to have a hood placed over her head after spitting in the face of one.

Officers found out Bey was suffering from Hepatitis C and the officer involved had to undergo blood tests for six months before getting the all-clear.

It is not known whether Bey’s mobility scooter was a model allowed on roads or had lights on at the time, but fiscal deputy Rachel Aedy told a court hearing yesterday: “She had a bottle of whisky on board and found it difficult to sit up and was slurring her words.”

Bey admitted driving under the influence of alcohol and to spitting on the officer when she appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday.

Fiscal deputy Aedy said: “The accused was seen by members of the public driving her mobility scooter erratically and down the wrong side of the carriageway.

“There were concerns for her safety and the police were contacted.

“Two officers attended and saw the accused driving the scooter towards oncoming traffic.

“The accused smelled strongly of alcohol and the view of the officers was that she was heavily intoxicated.

The fiscal added police were forced to wrestle the scooter’s keys and whisky from Bey’s grip and that she “continued to ask for her bottle of whisky back”.

Bey, 43, refused medical treatment and was put in a holding cell and had the spit hood placed over her head when she was taken to St Leonard’s police station.

Neil Martin, defending, said his client suffered from “acute health problems” and that the mobility scooter has now been seized by police.

He said he would give a full mitigation to Bey’s actions last January when the case is called for sentencing next year.

Sheriff Thomas Welsh QC handed Bey an interim driving ban and deferred full sentence to January 31 next year.

A recent test case found that in law a mobility scooter is an invalid carriage – and so is excluded from traditional drink driving rules.

An AA spokesman said of drink driving on mobility scooters: “It’s probably not that uncommon as people who use these scooters think they’re not as dangerous as a car.

“But if they’re in the road and swerving, they pose a big menace to other road users. They have very little protection.

“So with the best will in the world, if a car or lorry driver bangs into one because it’s suddenly stopped or swung into the road then the outcome will be pretty tragic for all those involved.”