A 51-year-old Melbourne man won’t be getting behind the wheel of his McLaren 720S any time soon after being caught with an alleged blood alcohol level of .296.
Police were called when the driver allegedly clipped a building on Chapel Street, South Yarra at about 3pm on Tuesday, while trying to park his car.
His licence was immediately suspended following a breath test at a local police station. Licence suspension for a blood alcohol limit of .15 or more in Victoria begins at between 15 and 24 months for a first offence.
He is expected to be charged on summons for drink driving and other traffic-related offences.
Penalties also include an alcohol interlock system and an intensive drink and drug driver behaviour change program.
Then there’s the breathtaking cost of repairs to his pride and joy.
NSW drivers taking similar risks with alcohol
New research conducted for the NSW Centre for Road Safety has found half of NSW drivers think it’s OK to drive drunk if they are on a “quiet road”.
One in three respondents said they would drive home intoxicated because they needed the car the next day, while half would do so because it was their only way to get home.
The study involved a sample of more than 2500 NSW licence holders.
“These findings don’t surprise me, but they do disappoint me that we are still at that level — I thought as a community we had moved on and the social acceptance of drink driving had passed that point,” the centre’s executive director, Bernard Carlon, told The Sunday Telegraph.
“The key here is we had 68 people killed last year from drink driving and 55 of those were in country areas. We also know that 60% of those country drink drivers crashed close to home in their local area, and just over half of people involved in fatal drink driving crashes in metro areas were also close to home.
“They think ‘I’m okay to drive home, it’s not far away’ and ‘I should be all right because I know the local roads and how to get home’ — but what the evidence says is there is no guarantee that you won’t be in a crash that will kill someone — in fact, you’re likely to be in a crash that will kill someone.”
Out of 5.2 million breath tests performed every year on NSW roads, about 18,000 people are caught drink driving.
Tough new laws were introduced in NSW on May 20 that mean every person caught drink-driving will lose their licence on the spot.
NSW Roads Minister Andrew Constance said: “This means anyone caught drink-driving in NSW, at any level, including low-range, can now lose their licence immediately.
“This reform makes it clear if you break the law, you will pay the price. We are taking a zero-tolerance approach to drink and drug driving.”
First-time, low-range drink drivers will be stripped of their licences for three months and receive a $561 fine.
Beyond low-level offences (0.05-0.07 BAC), mid-range offenders (0.08-0.149 BAC) will be forced to fit an alcohol interlock in their cars. High-risk, repeat offenders face vehicle impound or licence plate confiscation.
“Drivers who have an illegal level of alcohol in their blood or have used illegal drugs have no place on the road,” Constance said.
He added to the Sunday Tele: “One of the things, particularly in the country, is people think they can have a drink and drive a few kilometres away — and that’s where the deaths are.
“You shouldn’t even drive your car in a car park if you have been drinking — you just don’t have the benefits of your full senses when affected by alcohol — you could back over someone and hurt other people or yourself. It’s just crazy.”