Community leader's $10,000 drink-drive 'brain freeze'

A COMMUNITY leader who drove almost five times over the alcohol limit between Warrnambool and Port Fairy without his headlights on at night on the wrong side of the highway has been fined $10,000.

Wayne Krause.

Wayne Krause.

Wayne Krause, 65, of Princes Highway, Port Fairy, pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court to reckless conduct endangering serious injury and drink-driving. He was convicted and fined $10,000 and had his driver’s licence disqualified for 30 months.

Krause has held a number of prominent positions in the community. 

He was chief executive officer of the South West Credit Union, the South West Tafe board chairman, South West Community Foundation treasurer, Port Fairy Football Netball Club treasurer and Port Fairy Hospital treasurer.

The court heard that on April 6 this year Krause went for a family lunch in Warrnambool where he drank two bottles of wine and other alcoholic drinks.

His wife did not drink as she intended driving home to Port Fairy, but late in the afternoon Krause got in his car and left without her knowledge.

At 6.15pm he was seen driving east along Raglan Parade near Hopetoun Road. 

A witness said Krause’s car swerved across the lanes and three times nearly collided with parked cars before running a red light at the intersection with King Street. 

The next witness saw Krause drive on the wrong side of the Princes Highway at Illowa without his headlights on. The witness took evasive action and drove on to the wrong side of the road to avoid a collision.

Krause was then alleged to have continued driving erratically and on the wrong side of the road, terrifying road users. 

Another witness saw Krause in a rear view mirror parked near Tower Hill and claimed he knocked down a white post pulling back on to the road.

Krause was swerving across the road and the witness driving in front of him flashed his lights to warn other motorists.

When a police officer intercepted and pulled him over, Krause stumbled out of his car and had to be handcuffed for his own safety due to his intoxicated state.

Krause later told police he regretted his actions and had suffered a “brain freeze’’.

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