According to The Telegraph newspaper in England, a 40-year-old man was pulled over by the police as he drove a modified electric Barbie car — maximum speed, 4 miles an hour — on a street near his home in Clacton-on-Sea, England.
Paul Hutton, a former Royal Air Force aeronautical engineer who is studying electrical engineering, later admitted in court that he had been drinking. “I was very surprised to get done for drink-driving, but I was a twit to say the least,” he said.
He had added larger wheels to the toy car, which is designed for toddlers to scoot around the living room. “I’m in the third year of my electrical engineering course, and it was a little project I was doing with my son, who is doing a car mechanics course,” he said. “When it was done, I couldn’t resist the temptation to take it out.”
The Sun reports that Mr. Hutton said he was driving it to a friend’s house when he was pulled over. The police administered a breathalyzer test, which showed him to be over the legal limit.
“I’m not unhappy with my punishment, just a little bit surprised,” he said.
Because Mr. Hutton had been previously cited for drunken driving within the past 10 years, his license was revoked for three years, and he was ordered to pay $130 in court fees.
“This is most unusual,” said Magistrate Neil Munson. “I have never seen the like of it in 15 years on the bench.”
While it was not clear exactly which model Mr. Hutton was driving, Fisher Price builds a Barbie Jeep that runs off a rechargeable 12-volt battery and retails for $250.
“The vehicle is not even capable of doing the speed of a mobility scooter,” said Mr. Munson, “and could be outrun by a pedestrian.”