The list of famous drink drivers has been expanded thanks to a range of contributions including from Crikey’s spamming mate Ray Hoser.


In the Whistleblower section of the Crikey website, we asserted Senator Nick Bolkus to be one of the “famous drinkers and drivers” in the “Long List of Celebrity Bloody Idiots”.

The content implied that in 1995 Senator Bolkus, when he was Justice Minister, had been driving his car whilst under the influence of alcohol, that the car crashed into a tree, and that the Senator was involved in covering up the official records of the accident to show that a sober staffer was driving.

We acknowledge that the statements we made are untrue. In particular we accept that Senator Bolkus, who at the relevant time was Immigration Minister, was not in 1995 or at any other time, a passenger or driver of his car when it was involved in a collision. We also accept that he has not been involved in any incident involving driving his car after having consumed alcohol. In particular, we unreservedly withdraw and retract the imputation that he was complicit in an attempt to “cover up” the fact that he was driving under the influence of alcohol by having the official records show that a sober staffer was driving at the time.

We have deleted the offending material from the website.

We unreservedly apologise to Senator Bolkus for the distress, harm and embarrassment caused to him by the imputations arising from the material published about him.

On with the list minus Senator Bolkus

So, Darryl Somers gets let off without a conviction despite blowing .098 after drinking 5 glasses of wine and then getting behind the wheel on November 9 last year. One of the reasons was his unblemished record over 25 years and his community and charity work.

Now Crikey is not going to be a hypocrite here and bag others for drink driving. My official record is completely clean but there have been occasions in my younger days where I’ve driven when over the limit.

And to be perfectly honest with you, there have been two occasions where the police have pulled me over whilst over the limit. All I can say is that no cash changed hands and the sob stories were pretty good. The record is pristine.

Similarly, I got pulled over driving across the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco last year where the limit is 0.08 per cent.

After a few bevvies with a couple of dotcommers we’d met we went for a drive and before we knew it the sirens were on but the loud speakers were saying “do not stop on the bridge, keep driving, pull over on the other side”.

This was quite a unique breath test as we had three minutes driving across the world’s second most famous bridge to get our story straight, find the British passport (Aussie one was lost at home) and get out the international drivers licence (Vic one was also temporarily misplaced).

We agreed on our story – four beers since 6pm – and crossed the fingers. On pulling over at the tourist lookout on the other side, I started to get out of the car but got the classic Hollywood “stay in the car, stay in the car”.

After being invited to get out, I admitted to drinking and being a tourist in a hire car. They told me I was swerving, when any tourist trying to enjoy the view from the bridge does that.

The little 5 foot 4 blonde cop proceeded to put me through a series of sobriety tests while his mate told Paula “in this country people go to jail if they’re over the limit” (which made her really happy – not).

The tests were most amusing and were conducted as follows:

1. “Close your eyes, lean back and look at the sky and count to 30 under your breath and then tell me when you’ve got there.” This tests both balance and your sense of time. This suspect passed.

2. “Stand on one leg and count to 30 saying ‘one and 1000, two and two thousand etc’. Change legs halfway through.” This tests balance and speech. This suspect passed.

3. “Count one to four and back again several times on your fingers using your thumb”. This tests finger co-ordination and speech. This suspect passed.

Despite passing all the tests, the boys still opted for a breath test, probably because I’d admitted to having about four beers and they must know most borderlines cases would slightly understate the reality. I was no exception.

They radioed head office with my licence details and observed that “it’s really tough in Australia where the limit is 0.05”

After a few more quiet prayers, they came back and announced: “You blew 0.06, you’d be gone in Australia but you’re okay here.”

Seeing as Darryl got off and I’ve had three escapes, we’ve worked up a list of famously drunk drivers. All contributions and corrections are welcome. Not everyone on the list has a record. Collingwood premiership player Darren Millane killed himself when he blew something ridiculous like 0.314.

The list also does not include famous speedsters such as Jeff Kennett, Alan Jones and John Singleton, just to name a few.

Famous drinkers and drivers

AFL Footballers: Chris Mainwaring, David Rhys-Jones, Jim Buckley, Justin Peckitt, Winston Abraham, Martin Pike, Wayne Carey.

Dale Baker: The former Liberal opposition leader and later Minister in SA got done which is not surprising as he was a real party boy.

Henry Bolte: the former Victorian Premier got done for drink driving but the blood sample famously disappeared.

Richard Buchanan: the KPMG partner and former close friend of top Kennett adviser Anna Cronin got famously written up in The Sunday Age back in about 1993 for being drunk behind the wheel of his Merc. Some say that Hewson had him lined up to be his Tax Commissioner.

Bob Charles: The Federal Liberal MP got off with a good behaviour bond after blowing 0.145%.

Pat Conlon: The South Australian opposition police spokesman, Pat Conlon, has been sprung a couple of times.

Garry Dellar: The ACT Magistrate was convicted for his third drink-drive offence on 2 April 1998 and the ACT chief magistrate Ron Cahill suspended his licence for 9 months and fined him $750. (Please apply a Hoser accuracy discount to this one)

Collette Dinnigan: Lachlan Murdoch’s favourite fashion designer got a second conviction a few weeks back blowing .06 after four glasses of red.

John Elliott: This guy is one of the biggest drinkers around so it came as no surprise when he lost his licence last year and was reportedly an arrogant tosser when dealing with the policewoman.

Gareth Evans: Got done in Melbourne a few months back driving home a dinner with a European ambassador.

Margaret Fink: the film maker was up for a second time when she got off with a fine and short term license loss. Her observation afterwards was: “Next time I’ll use Ken Horler”.

Justice John Gallop: Raymond Hoser claims that the ACT Supreme Court Judge was picked up with a blood alcohol limit of .1 and was fined without a conviction or licence suspension.

Kathryn Greiner: Subscribers recall she was pulled over in the Blue Mountains and was over the limit but somehow charges were not laid. Coincidentally, hubby Nick was NSW Opposition leader at the time.

Dave Grohl: The Nirvana/Foo Fighters guru copped a fine and no conviction in the Gold Coast court last year, for being drunk on a rented motor scooter. Our spy reckons he might have blown .15%.

David Hamill: The former Queensland Labor Treasurer must be the unluckiest bastard alive. He got done earlier this year with a reading of 0.052% after leaving a function in Ipswich. One thimble of light too many it seems.

Sir Edward Lyons: Evan Whitton’s excellent book, “The Hillbilly Dictator”, covers this one nicely. Sir Ted was Joh’s closest adviser and got done whilst driving his Roller home to Holland Park one night. Appropriate strings (Russ Hinze and Terry Lewis) were pulled and the charge duly disappeared – until, despite his colleagues’ advice to the contrary, one honest cop physically retrieved the crumpled-up charge sheet from the waste paper bin at the City Watchhouse and made sure it went through the system.

Mimi Macpherson: In April 2001 Elle’s younger sister lost her licence for 9 months and was fined $350 for driving the wrong way down a one-way street and blowing .095.

Susie Maroney: The super swimmer certainly got charged but we’re still checking the details.

Darren Millane: The Collingwood star killed himself at great speed so he could never be charged with being 0.314 back in the early 1990s after a bender that lasted a few days.

Fiona Snedden: The daughter of former Liberal leader Billy Snedden was charged around the same time she was the pre-selected candidate for Melbourne Ports but Hoser’s book does not know the outcome.

Lady Sonia McMahon: Billy’s widow blew .13 but got off with a caution, a $1000 fine and a 12-month bond.

Greg Matthews: In May 2001 the former test cricketer lost his licence for 12 months and was fined $700 after blowing 0.18.

Sam Newman: The Footy Show idiot is riding his bike after being rubbed out for drinking too much at the Crown casino and then driving his Porsche around to some poor woman’s house.

Lady Susan Renouf: Not sure of the legal formalities but Lady Susan ran into someone in Double Bay after a long lunch but was not at the scene when the police arrived.

Paul Rofe: The South Australian Director of Public Prosecutions would like to forget the time he got pinged for DD.

Aden Ridgeway: Was just over the limit when pulled over in the Blue Mountains a few weeks back. Given that alcohol abuse is such an issue in Indigenous communities, this was most unfortunate for their only Federal Parliamentarian to be caught doing this.

Alan Schwab: The late AFL administrator lost his licence for 2 years back in the 80s when Crikey used to go to his place for barbies put on by his step-daughter.

Mike Smith: The former editor of The Age and now chairman of spinning outfit Webber-Shandwick was charged in 1992 but got off. His lawyer was The Age’s defo expert Peter Bartlett from Minter Ellison.

Louise Staley: the woman defeated in the preselection battle for Crikey’s former safe Liberal seat of Menzies has been done twice for drink driving which did not help her chances.

Kimble Stynes: One of Melbourne’s toughest and most aggressive lawyers. This Ivanhoe Grammar old boy is the younger brother of Cary Stynes who is chief executive of Commsof, the flailing dotcom chaired by Jeff Kennett. Can’t remember the details but tough talking Kimble went down at some stage and this is only up here to check whether he’s still reading the site. It will come down as soon as he emails [email protected]

Michael Yabsley: The former NSW Prisons Minister blew 0.18% but Magistrate Jeff Lindon let him off without fine, loss of licence of conviction according to Hoser’s book.