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Vic Liberal MP’s political career in doubt

An outspoken Victorian Liberal MP’s political career is in doubt after crashing into a car while driving more than two times the legal blood-alcohol limit.

Tim Smith, 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 judgement”, returning a positive breath test reading of 0.131 after smashing into another car and hitting a fence on Power Street in Hawthorn.

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

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

Mr Smith has since resigned from shadow cabinet, with Opposition Leader Matthew Guy declaring he was “exceedingly angry and disappointed” with his colleague’s actions.

During Mr Guy’s first stint as opposition leader, former Liberal MP Simon Ramsay was busted months before the 2018 state election driving four times over the limit on the Bellarine Peninsula.

He did not recontest his upper house seat and retired from politics.

Mr Smith’s resignation has forced a shadow cabinet reshuffle, seven weeks after he was promoted to shadow attorney-general as a key backer of Mr Guy when he toppled Michael O’Brien for the Victorian Liberal leadership.

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

The former Stonnington council mayor has no experience as a lawyer, but 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.

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

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