WHEN a learner-driver turned up at the Wangaratta police station yesterday, he couldn’t even remember that his licence had been taken off him the night before.
On Saturday night, he had allegedly told officers he drank 20 beers at the Ovens and King Football grand final at Wangaratta.
They immediately seized his keys and suspended his licence, not least because he allegedly recorded a blood alcohol level of .209.
The 21-year-old was also an unaccompanied driver in his mum’s car.
Sgt Michael Connors said yesterday police noticed the Mazda sedan travelling at 23km/h in Edward Street, near the W.J. Findlay Oval at 8pm.
He allegedly told police he had drank 20 mid-strength beers at the footy — and was on his way to the pub.
“None of his answers or the conversation made sense,” Sgt Connors said.
After his keys and licence were seized the car was left on the side of the road.
He will face Wangaratta Magistrates’ Court at a later date.
Sgt Connors said the L-plater came into the police station yesterday to pick up the car keys.
“He couldn’t remember where the car was, where they pulled him up and he believed that he was still right to drive,” Sgt Connors said.
“He was quickly informed his licence had been suspended.”
Sgt Connors said he had not seen a blood alcohol reading like it from a learner driver for a long time.
“It leaves me speechless as to the thought process of this driver,” he said.
“It begs the question, if he was not alone at the football, if he was with someone else, who was looking after him?
“Why didn’t someone try and stop him?”
Speaking of drink-drivers in the North East, Sgt Connors said “these are the bloody idiots that don’t deserve to be on the road.”
Police would target sporting grounds in the football and netball finals period to stop fans impaired by drink or drugs from driving.
Operation Squash runs until September 24, with a high presence of highway patrol officers near the grounds.
“If you’re going to drink, don’t drive,” Sgt Connors said.
“The message is simple: Wangaratta highway patrol wants people to enjoy the sporting events but if you choose to drive with alcohol in your system or drugs there will be no leniency.”