More absurd than an idiot

FORGET the “bloody idiot” tag. Police yesterday said a drink-driver’s behaviour had bordered on the “bloody absurd” at Whitfield — he fell out of his car drunk when they pulled him over.

Wangaratta highway patrol Constable Shane Hughes had followed a car travelling at 50km/h on the 100km/h King Valley Road at Whitfield, 50 kilometres south of Wangaratta, at 2pm on Saturday.

The driver was unaware there was a marked police car with its lights behind him.

When Constable Hughes drove up beside the slow-travelling car, he noticed the driver wasn’t wearing a seatbelt.

When the car eventually stopped, the driver, stinking of alcohol, opened his door and fell out of his seat on to the ground.

Police said a breath test on the unlicensed Thai national, 44, produced a blood alcohol reading of 0.155; more than three times the legal limit.

“You all know the catch-phrase ‘If you drink and drive, you’re a bloody idiot’,” highway patrol Sgt Michael Connors said.

“What this driver has done is bordering on the bloody absurd and it’s downright dangerous to other road users.”

Sgt Connors said the driver had been drinking with a friend after his work as a picker at Whitfield.

He was found to be in Australia unlawfully so the Immigration Department had been notified.

He was detained under the Migration Act and later taken to the Maribyrnong detention centre in Melbourne.

Sgt Connors said charges were unlikely because the man had been deported. A police brief would be submitted.

Two hours before the intercept, a motorcyclist was detected travelling at 132km/h on the same road in the wet conditions.

Then, at 5.15am on Sunday a 16-year-old learner driver was caught with an alleged blood alcohol level of .165 in Riley Street, Wangaratta,

Sgt Connors said his colleagues “bust their guts” to catch offending drivers before tragedy strikes.

“I make no apologies for the hard stance on prosecuting motorists who drink alcohol, take drugs, go at excessive speed and drive,” he said.

“We will be relentless on reducing road trauma.”