POLICE have issued a warning to mobility scooter users after a man was arrested for being drunk in charge of one.

Nigel Lee Drummond was seen on CCTV cameras careering through Darlington.

The 37-year-old was giving a friend a ride on the back of the vehicle as he veered from side to side across the road in the early hours.

Drummond, of Brougham Street, Darlington, was three times over the legal drink-drive limit.

Police arrested him after security camera operators tracked the scooter as he made his way around the town centre following a night out in the Route 66 bar.

PC Kevin Salter, from Darlington Police, said: “Although mobility scooters do not travel at great speed, they can still be very dangerous.

“They can pose risks to the user and other members of the public when they are not being used correctly.

“We urge that anyone wanting to consume alcohol seeks alternative transport.”

Drummond walks with crutches and needs the scooter to travel long distances.

Footage captured by camera operators, available to view at northernecho.co.uk, shows Drummond and his friend struggling to get on the scooter as they leave the club.

After rummaging in his pocket for his keys, the pair get on board and set off, swerving quickly into the road and narrowly missing a group of revellers going into the club.

The scooter then draws up to the kerb as the men start to chat with a group of women. They appear to offer them a lift, but move on again when their advances are rebuffed.

The scooter then disappears into an underpass, before it emerges in a nearby street, as Drummond swerves across the middle of the road to avoid speed bumps.

Drummond was prosecuted under an obscure law dating from Victorian times – being drunk in charge of a carriage – because the usual drinkdrive rules do not apply to mobility scooters.

He was given a six-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £65 costs.

PC Salter said: “He was very drunk. A number of people use these scooters and it can be a problem, especially at this time of year.”

Drummond has backed the police’s campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of driving a mobility scooter after drinking.

He said: “My scooter only goes at 8mph, but if I had hit somebody with it, it would have hurt. When I saw the CCTV footage in court, I felt about an inch big.”