Premier’s man blew 0.197 at smash

Mercury (Hobart) - - NEWS - LORETTA LOHBERGER

PREMIER Will Hodg­man’s press sec­re­tary was driv­ing with a blood al­co­hol reading of 0.197 when he hit a tree and a parked car in Sandy Bay last month, a court has heard.

An­drew Mal­colm Hudg­son, 35, of Kingston, yes­ter­day pleaded guilty in the Ho­bart Mag­is­trates Court to drink driv­ing and fail­ing to have proper con­trol of a ve­hi­cle.

The court heard Hudg­son had been drink­ing al­co­hol on May 3 and had planned to leave his car at work and catch a bus home, but he went back to his of­fice and de­cided in­stead to drive.

Hudg­son struck a tree and a parked car on Re­gent St, Sandy Bay about 1am.

Hudg­son’s lawyer Garth Stevens said that while Hudg­son waited for po­lice he ex­changed de­tails with the owner of the parked car and later wrote a let­ter to the owner.

Mr Stevens said Hudg­son in­tended to pay for the dam­age he caused to the parked car.

“He’s gen­uinely re­morse­ful and ex­pressed that re­morse to the owner of the other ve­hi­cle,” Mr Stevens said.

Deputy Chief Mag­is­trate Michael Daly said the reading of 0.197 was “re­ally high”.

Mr Daly con­victed Hudg­son of the charges, dis­qual­i­fied him from driv­ing for 15 months and fined him $1200.

A Gov­ern­ment spokesman later said Hudg­son re­mained an em­ployee.

Op­po­si­tion Leader Re­becca White said it was for the Premier to de­cide what be­hav­iour he re­garded as ap­pro­pri­ate.

Tas­ma­nian Greens Leader Cassy O’Connor said: “A per­son who is work­ing for the Premier of Tas­ma­nia should up­hold a cer­tain stan­dard of con­duct.”

An­drew Hudg­son

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