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.