BRASS NECK NEWS: Crash minister who wasn’t breathalysed gives press conference about new laws on drunk-driving and breathalyser tests

Published: January 9, 2017 at 11:17pm

Owen Bonnici, the Justice Minister who likes a tipple after which he totters down the streets of Valletta to his Old Mint Street flat, gave a press conference today about the alcohol limit for taxis, drunk-driving and mandatory breathalyser tests in changes to the law.

This is the very same cabinet minister who, almost three years ago, drove straight into the back of a stationary car at speed and hit a man who was standing next to it, sending him spinning into the air.

It was 8.30pm on a work-night and the Minister was so out of it that he was forced to admit, because there were no brake-marks and no sound of screeching tyres, that he didn’t see the car until he slammed into it and so he hadn’t hit the brakes at all but his foot was still on the accelerator at the point of impact.

He wasn’t breathalysed by the police – mela le, dak il-ministru – and because of that, the police themselves could not bring sufficient evidence of negligent driving. Bonnici was prosecuted but acquitted due to lack of evidence, while everybody who knows him whispered that he was probably over the limit, talking on his phone or both.

This was about the time his marriage was breaking up. He drove into that car in April 2014, was acquitted of negligent driving in October that year, and in November I revealed on this website that he had left his wife and child for the Labour Party TV reporter, Janice Bartolo with whom he had been having a secret affair.

Last September, the man who the Justice Minister sent spinning into the air sued him for damages, saying that he has suffered a 12% disability because of that night’s injuries.

  • Dennis Calleja

    Or maybe he was and it was covered up O:)

  • Dedender

    Sorry for posting here. Why is Simon Busuttil terrified of Paul Vincenti (Gift of Life is a one-man band, I suspect), that he felt the need to promise that he will NEVER consider abortion and euthanasia?

    At the same time, while I like Salvu Mallia, I get the feeling that he might become a liability for the Nationalist Party.

    One elderly woman I know, who was a nurse, has a stock of medicines which she told me she keeps so that if she is in a situation where life becomes intolerable due to severe illness she will try and take her own life.

    We don’t know how many cases like hers there are, because suicides are not reported. But that is OK as long as she does it herself and might end up botching the whole thing because it is not illegal.

    • Individual suicide cases are not reported in the newspapers, but suicide statistics are compiled and are reported. Around 300 people have killed themselves in Malta in the last 10 years, and the vast majority of them were men.

    • pete ross

      Please let’s not introduce unnecessary issues for the forthcoming elections. The only issue here should be the booting out of power of the most corrupt regime Malta ever had in the seats of power. All else is secondary or irrelevant.

      Mallia should stay away from controversial issues. On the other hand his statement that Muscat and his band of corrupt men are criminals should be on a multitude of streamers, banners and billboards all over Malta, side by side with Baxxter’s billboard.

  • Major Tom

    The Minister would react after the hangover provided he remembers anything….so half an hour is probably inaccurate.

  • rita schembri

    My guess is that the Minister of Alcohol (and Deputy Leader of the Labour Party) won’t be driving himself to work in the morning anymore then.

  • Two of the great mysteries of life: why a childless man in his 40s who has never had a girlfriend, ever, would be interested in abortion; and why women with children old enough to understand would think it’s good taste or even considerate towards them to lead a passionate campaign for abortion, which subliminally communicates the idea that given half a chance they would have had one themselves. The whole thing is so damned unpleasant.

  • Melissa

    I am wondering about the location of the accident, which according to the Malta Today article (see hyperlink) stated ‘The incident occurred on 3 April outside the St Venera tunnels at around 8:30pm.’

    Correct me is I am wrong, but I believe there are speed cameras facing these tunnels, at both ends. Could the footage have been used as evidence of speeding or non-speeding?

    • I think they would have thought of that.

    • Les Bonbons

      You don’t have to be over-speeding to cause an accident. Had Owen Bonnici been doing over 60 Kmh (the speed limit) and collided with a stationary vehicle without even braking the consequences would have been far worse.

      The speed camera would have only worked if he broke the speed limit and only for that split second to capture the photo of the licence plates.

      Maybe there is also a CCTV next to the speed camera to protect it against vandalism but I don’t know. Would the police / inquiring magistrate have taken the initiative to review the footage of such a camera without being formally asked (pressured) to do so by the victim’s lawyer ? That I very much doubt.

  • Tooth and mouth? That should be interesting. It’s actually tooth and nail. I really can’t stand this obsession with other people’s reproductive systems – but it’s a free country and I’m glad to see some protesting life. Perhaps you should concern yourself with other matters too.

  • Catholic countries? Is that how they were defined? I don’t think so. Perhaps you mean southern Europe.

    • Charley Bates

      I am sure it was Catholic countries and these include Poland, Hungary and Austria.

      • I find it hard to believe that the Council of Europe would define countries as Catholic or otherwise. What is France – a Catholic country?

      • Charley Bates

        This statistic appeared in the now defunct weekly newspaper called The European.

  • People love to be in control of other people’s choices. And I am beginning to find that they especially love the element of cruelty that goes with it.

    Because there really has to be a strong element of latent sadism in wishing to prolong an agonising death against the sufferer’s wishes, or forcing a woman to stay pregnant and give birth when she doesn’t want it. That’s called ‘caring about the baby’, which then gets dumped for adoption or resented by its own mother for the rest of its life.

  • Makjavel

    Can we have a breathalyser before entering parliament sessions?

    • rita schembri

      A drug test would be a good idea too.

  • Maria Brincat

    Mur ara if they up the age but don’t check the age of people buying. I’ve seen 14-year-olds looking like 20-year-olds going up to the bar, ordering drinks and being served…no questions asked.

  • A round of applause for that.

  • H.P. Baxxter

    Not terrified. Just too eager to please.

  • The bottom line is: it’s none of your business. Or mine.