Driver dan­ger

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - ANGELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

A DRUNKEN shut­tle bus driver busted on the job with a high-range read­ing not only put his own life at risk, but the lives of his pas­sen­gers, pedes­tri­ans, cy­clists and other road users last week.

Port Dou­glas po­lice re­ceived a num­ber of com­plaints around 4pm last Wed­nes­day, July 18, from mo­torists who re­ported the Sun Palm driver’s er­ratic be­hav­iour.

The 53-year-old Port Dou­glas man was al­legedly weav­ing in and out of in his lane which Of­fi­cer-in-Charge Se­nior Sergeant Damien Mead­ows said led the wit­nesses to be­lieve the man was im­paired.

“The driver was sub­se­quently re­quested to pro­vide a spec­i­men of his breath and af­ter anal­y­sis of that spec­i­men he went to .159,” he said.

“To make mat­ters worse, be­ing a com­mer­cial driver, he is sup­posed to be at zero, he is not sup­posed to have any al­co­hol in his sys­tem.”

Snr Sgt Mead­ows la­belled the driver a “bloody idiot” for putting the lives of his pas­sen­gers at risk by be­ing so in­tox­i­cated.

“It’s bad enough driv­ing around in a mo­tor car in­tox­i­cated but when driv­ing around in­tox­i­cated in a com­mer­cial bus with the ca­pac­ity for 20 pas­sen­gers on board, it’s ab­so­lutely lu­di­crous,” he said.

“At that level there’s no deny­ing he wouldn’t have had an idea he was im­paired - at .06 that’s a quar­ter of a stubby too much but at that level of im­pair­ment he’s gone, it’s de­plorable be­hav­iour.”

The bus driver’s li­cence has been au­to­mat­i­cally dis­qual­i­fied due to the high read­ing and he will ap­pear in the Moss­man Mag­is­trate’s Court on Septem­ber 5.

Sun Palm Trans­port op­er­a­tions man­ager Bruce Funch said the com­pany has a zero tol­er­ance pol­icy to drink-driv­ing but the driver had an ex­em­plary record and has worked with the com­pany for many years.

“This par­tic­u­lar driver has re­cently been di­ag­nosed with a se­vere med­i­cal con­di­tion and as a com­pany and as an in­di­vid­ual I can’t con­done or make no ex­cuses for it,” he said.

“How­ever, the driver con­cerned had an ex­em­plary record with us and has been away and only just came back and he made a se­vere er­ror of judge­ment, which we can all do at times and he did go to the po­lice sta­tion vol­un­tar­ily.”

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