Icons of our Time

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 07 January, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 07 January, 1996, 12:00am

NAME: The Drunk Driver.

AGE: Varies. Usually either a callow Chinese youth in a sports car he can't control or a red-nosed middle-aged expat in a car he could control perfectly well if he hadn't had that 14th scotch at the club.

CLAIM TO FAME: Has always been around but in the wake of the newly introduced drink-driving legislation is about to become a legendary part of the Hong Kong scene. People in the territory have been getting away with drinking and driving for so long that no amount of publicity is going to stop them embarrassing themselves. Newspapers are going to have a field day as celebrities, off-duty police officers and pillars of society get caught out. It'll be interesting to see what happens when a newspaper editor gets nicked.

FAVOURITE NUMBER: 35. That's the number of micrograms of alcohol he hopes, nay prays, to see come up on the breathalyser when PC Plod stops him. The problem is, he's normally had the equivalent of 35 microbreweries to drink.




MOST LIKELY TO SAY: Honestly, haven't the police got anything better to do? It was only a couple of drinks. I know when I've had too much.

LEAST LIKELY TO SAY: Hello officer, fancy a pint? CLASSICS OF THE GENRE: (1) As mentioned earlier, there's the sports car driver whose vehicle mysteriously goes 'out of control'. Isn't it strange that this loss of control usually occurs at 4 am when our chap is escorting any number of young lady friends home after a quiet night out in Tsim Sha Tsui East? (2) Then there's the expat who has been here so long he's forgotten the good habits his home country tried to teach him. This individual absorbs astonishing amounts of booze at his club or a friend's house and then drives the wife and kids home, cursing the terrible local drivers all the way.

NEW TRENDS: Keep a close eye on the court pages over the next few months because there are going to be some absolute belters when it comes to excuses. We've already seen a guy on the TV news faking a chronic stomach upset to avoid being breathalysed. Just wait until a senior triad gets nicked and everyone present develops amnesia.