Drunk MP 10 times more likely to crash

NORTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall was 10 times more likely to be involved in a crash than a sober driver when he was caught drunk behind the wheel last Friday night.

The shocking statistic, based on research used by DrinkWise Australia in its nation-wide campaigns, comes as the fallout from Mr Marshall's indiscretion continues.

The 29-year-old politician allegedly recorded a blood-alcohol reading of 0.112 - more than twice the legal limit - when pulled over for a random test in Glen Innes about 10.45pm.

Police immediately suspended Mr Marshall's licence and he is expected to front Glen Innes Local Court on July 15 to answer a charge of mid-range drink-driving.

Independent research indicates that Mr Marshall, who had been out drinking with friends and constituents, had placed himself and others at significant risk by choosing to drive.

DrinkWise Australia, established by the alcohol industry in 2005 to promote a healthier drinking culture, publishes a table on its website detailing the effects of drink-driving.

It states that drivers with a reading between 0.08 and 0.120 suffer impaired vision and slower reactions, over-estimate their abilities, drive recklessly and are "10 times more likely to have a crash".

Recording Artists, Actors and Athletes Against Drink Driving (RADD) national director Peter Rubinstein said there were no excuses for anyone to drive while drunk.

"The best thing that happened was that he got caught," he said. "Maybe five minutes after that he might have hit somebody, maybe he might have crashed his car and ended up a paraplegic, maybe he might have done it the next time.

"It's a reminder to us that we're all human and all fallible. But he had the decision to make ahead of time and that was 'Do I get behind the wheel, or do I not?'"

Mr Rubinstein said RADD did not subscribe to the theory that high-profile drink-driving offenders, such as politicians, should be made examples of under the law.

"If someone deserves to lose their licence or go to jail, it shouldn't matter who they are," he said.

"The only thing that should matter is the extent of their guilt and the dangers that they've caused to other people.

"The fact he's a politician and the fact it's been in the newspapers means he's already paid a price."

Mr Marshall has apologised to the community and said he "deeply regrets" his actions.

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