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Australian police charge man in wheelchair with drunken driving
BRISBANE, Australia -- A man found asleep in a motorized wheelchair on a highway in northern Australia was charged with drunken driving, police said Monday.
Officers in a patrol car noticed the man slumped in the stationary chair about 10 a.m. Friday on an exit lane near the tourist city of Cairns, regional traffic Inspector Bob Waters said. Cars were swerving to get around him, Waters said.
The officers breath-tested the 64-year-old man, who registered a blood alcohol reading of 0.301 -- more than six times the legal driving limit. He was charged with operating a vehicle while drunk and ordered to report to court July 7, where he faces a stiff fine if convicted.
"The vehicles that we normally hear about with drink driving are the family car, the truck, the motorbike," Waters said. "But there are also other classes of vehicles that are subject to drink-driving laws," including horses, bicycles and motorized wheelchairs.
The man, whose name was not released, told police he was making a nine-mile trip from his home to a friend's place, Waters said.
"He placed himself in a very dangerous situation," he said.