Australian fined for driving motorized ice cooler while drunk (VIDEO)


Christopher Ian Petrie, 23, on his "four-stroke esky."

A court in the Australian beach town of Noosa fined a man and suspended his license for nine months after he was caught driving a motorized "esky" or drinks cooler, down the main street while drunk.

Christopher Ian Petrie, 23, said he had just bought the four-stroke esky on the internet and wanted to take it for a "test drive", the Herald Sun newspaper reported.

The Noosa Heads Magistrates Court in the northeastern state of Queensland was packed as prosecutors described how police intercepted Petrie as he cruised down Noosa's trendy shopping street at 20 kilometers an hour (12.5 miles).

Asked to complete a breath test, he recorded a blood alcohol reading more than three times the legal limit, the ABC reported.

"My mate and I thought it would be a bit of fun, but I understand I've done the wrong thing," he told reporters after being fined AUD $500 (USD $520) and ordered not to drive any vehicle for nine months.

Magistrate John Parker accepted Petrie's argument that he didn't realize the esky classified as a "motor vehicle" under the drink driving laws, and gave him the minimum sentence.

Asked if the esky was "loaded" at the time of his arrest, Petrie's lawyer informed the court that it was holding "three cans of Bundaberg rum and coke and some ice."

"I had to consult the statute to satisfy myself that the esky is indeed a vehicle," Parker said.

"It's an unfortunate situation - if he'd been drunk on a horse he'd have been ok."