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The Danger of John Elliot

My good friend from aus.politics, "fasgnadh", posted this little gem to said newsgroup:

"Former Liberal Party President, John Elliot, gave some insight into his personal philosophy and priorities when in court to try and get back his licence after drink driving offences."

"He was prompted three times by magistrate Peter Mealy to express the worst consequences of driving after drinking excessively" - The Herald Sun 2/8/03

"Bad publicity and inconvenience to his family." - Jack offered.

Try again.

"Mmmm, well, a heavy fine and possible jail."

Nah. The penny dropped

"If you are driving and drinking you can cause harm to others"

I was completely stunned. The guy is a robot, not a human being at all .....

Mr. Elliot, you're in a motor car. It is several hundred kilogrammes of steel and explosive fuel. You are travelling at least 65 klicks an hour. You're pissed as a newt that fell into a barrel of brandy because by some miracle Carlton have won a game of Aussie Rules. Of course, you've forgotten to turn your headlights on and it's 7pm in a Melbourne winter... You hoon past Princes Hill High School and a year 12 student steps on the road waving goodbye to her friends. She doesn't see your car.. What do you think might happen?


Former Carlton president and ex-Liberal heavyweight John Elliott will be able to drive again after fronting court to finalise a drink-driving case and get his licence back.

Mr Elliott avoided standing in a long queue outside the Melbourne Magistrates Court building on Friday when a magistrate friend let him through a side entrance reserved for court staffers. Chief magistrate Peter Lauritsen later confirmed he spoke to his colleague over the issue.

After Mr Elliott was helped by his friend to find the right court for his case inside the building, the 77-year-old businessman and former Liberal Party president told magistrate Olivia Trumble he did not drink any alcohol for six months after a fall at home this year.

Mr Elliott said that in April he fell and was unconscious at his Carlton home, and that his partner’s 89-year-old mother found him.

‘‘I didn’t have a drink for six months,’’ he said.

Mr Elliott appeared before court two weeks ago when his drink-driving was detailed, so The Age cannot report how he lost his licence. But he told Ms Trumble he had been without the licence for a year and recently completed a drink-driving program.

‘‘I have learnt my lesson not having a licence for 12 months,’’ he said.

Asked if he had any priors for drink-driving, he said no, but quickly added: ‘‘I had one 20 years ago. I was the chief executive of Carlton & United Breweries.’’

In 2003 The Age reported Mr Elliott’s licence was cancelled for two years for failing to give a breath-test when pulled over outside Princes Park in June 2000.

He told a magistrate in 2003 he had been celebrating a ‘‘meritorious win against the Sydney Swans’’ with Carlton’s sponsors before he encountered a breath-testing unit in Royal Parade. When he was granted the licence back in 2003, he told magistrate Peter Mealy: ‘‘I don’t intend to be back here.’’

On Friday he said he often caught taxis to lunch appointments, and had also stopped smoking.

‘‘That wouldn’t have done you any harm,’’ Ms Trumble said.

The magistrate granted Mr Elliott his licence back but ordered he have an interlock device fitted to his car. The device prevents him from driving unless he has a zero blood-alcohol reading.

Mr Elliott declined to comment outside.

Judge Lauritsen said in a statement to The Age the magistrate received a telephone call from Mr Elliott, and then invited his friend inside the building.

"He invited Mr Elliott to pay him a short visit. That magistrate had nothing to do with the application made by Mr Elliott to the court today," Judge Lauritsen said.