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.”