Smith refuses to quit over drunken crash

·3-min read

Victorian Liberal MP Tim Smith says he won't resign from parliament and could contest the next election despite crashing his car while drunk at the weekend.

The 38-year-old returned a breath test reading of 0.131 - almost three times the legal blood alcohol limit - after he crashed into a car and a Hawthorn home on Saturday night, narrowly avoiding a child's bedroom.

His licence was immediately suspended and he has been fined $750.

"I won't be resigning from the parliament and I'll be spending the next couple of weeks reflecting on my career and my life," Mr Smith told reporters at his first press conference since the accident on Wednesday.

The Kew MP said he would speak with his friends, family and local branch members before making a decision to contest the 2022 state election, noting he has some time before preselection nominations close on November 12.

"I've made a terrible terrible error, a massive error, the worst mistake of my life, does one error mean a career is over forever?" Mr Smith said.

He said the executive of the Kew branch has "asked (him) to strongly consider going on", while none of his Liberal Party colleagues have told him not to recontest.

His comments contrast with that of Opposition Leader Matthew Guy, who made public his "unequivocal" position that Mr Smith should not contest the election on Tuesday.

"I made it very clear to Tim that he wouldn't find his way on to the front bench of any parliamentary Liberal Party that I lead," Mr Guy said.

"And I made it clear that I didn't want him to nominate at the next election and that I didn't believe he should nominate for the seat of Kew."

Mr Smith said their "recollections may differ", noting they have had "a multitude of conversations" since the crash.

"I've been asked to reflect on my position," he repeatedly told reporters.

A spokesman for Mr Guy on Wednesday maintained he told Mr Smith not to recontest.

Mr Smith said everyone deserves a "second chance" and that only "he who is without sin cast the first stone".

This is despite him previously calling for the resignation of several public figures, including deputy CHO Annaliese van Dieman for comparing coronavirus to James Cook.

Mr Smith also called on Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp to resign for congratulating the government on its latest budget, Treasurer Tim Pallas for having shares in Transurban and Labor upper house MP Shaun Leane for having long hair.

In 2019, he said Labor MP Will Fowles should resign after he kicked in a Canberra hotel door during an alcohol-fuelled argument with staff.

Mr Smith now concedes he was too harsh in his criticism of Mr Fowles, who admitted to suffering poor mental health and addiction problems at the time.

Mr Smith maintains he doesn't have a drinking problem and didn't believe he was over the legal limit when he got behind the wheel on Saturday night.

"I'm not unwell, I'm an idiot," he said.

Mr Smith said he consumed "a few glasses of wine" at a dinner with friends and hadn't eaten during the day.

He has spoken to his GP about his alcohol consumption and has vowed to "never, ever drink again" while in "public life".

Mr Smith said he has apologised to the Hawthorn family and has offered to pay for repairs.

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