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Vic Lib MP resigns post after boozy crash

The political career of outspoken Victorian Liberal MP Tim Smith hangs in the balance after crashing into a car while driving more than two times the legal blood-alcohol limit.

The state member for Kew, in Melbourne’s east, says he decided to drive home from a dinner with friends on Saturday night believing he was under the legal limit.

But it was a “serious error of judgment” and he returned a positive breath test reading of 0.131 after smashing into another car and hitting a fence on Power Street in Hawthorn.

The 38-year-old has had his licence suspended for 12 months and will be fined.

A Victoria Police spokeswoman said no one was injured in the crash but the front of his car was severely damaged.

Mr Smith tendered his resignation from the shadow cabinet and Opposition Leader Matthew Guy has accepted it.

“I apologise to my constituents, my colleagues, my family and the people of Victoria who expect their elected representatives to uphold the highest standards of behaviour,” he said in a statement on Sunday.

Mr Guy says he has spoken to Mr Smith and remains “exceedingly angry and disappointed” with his actions.

His resignation has forced a shadow cabinet reshuffle, seven weeks after he was promoted to shadow attorney-general despite having no experience as a lawyer after helping Mr Guy topple Michael O’Brien as Victorian Liberal leader.

Children and students spokesman Matt Bach will be appointed shadow attorney-general, while shadow treasurer David Davis is picking up the finance portfolio.

“These changes will ensure the recovery of lives and livelihoods remains front and centre, as Victoria rebuilds after 18 months in and out of harsh COVID lockdowns,” Mr Guy said.

The former Stonnington council mayor worked for a number of politicians and as a consultant for accountancy firms Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers before being elected to state parliament in 2014.

Mr Smith has been an outspoken critic of the Andrews government and health officials throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and last week promised the coalition would scrap new legislation giving the premier the power to declare a pandemic if it won the next election.

He previously called on Victorian Labor MP Will Fowles to resign from state parliament after smashing a Canberra hotel door during an alcohol-fuelled argument with staff in 2019.

During Mr Guy’s first stint as opposition leader, former Liberal MP Simon Ramsay did not recontest his upper house seat at the 2018 state election just months after being busted driving four times over the limit on the Bellarine Peninsula.

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