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HomeOpinionEditorialTim Smith, stop making excuses for your drinking

Tim Smith, stop making excuses for your drinking

Liberal MP Tim Smith continues making excuses for his alleged drink driving offence where he narrowly avoided crashing into a child's bedroom. According to recovering alcoholics, this is a sign of alcoholism.

Liberal MP Tim Smith continues making excuses for his alleged drink driving offence where he narrowly avoided crashing into a child’s bedroom last year. According to recovering alcoholics, this is a sign of alcoholism.

And full disclosure here. I myself am a recovering alcoholic – sober since 8 October 2021 – and you, Mr Smith show all the signs of alcoholism. As a politician and therefore someone in public office, it is your responsibility to lead by example and recognise the problems alcoholism causes and stop making excuses and blaming others or life events for your drinking.

All alcoholics do it, Mr Smith, we make excuses for drinking, whilst saying we aren’t making excuses. It’s just what addicts do. Over and over again.

We are, however, still making excuses. “My mum died,” “A friend died,” “tough day at the office,” “it’s grand final day.” Prefacing statements with “this is not an excuse, but” is exactly that, making excuses. It is the same as the “I’m not racist, but …,” trope. Just. Stop. It.

On Saturday 30 October 2021 then shadow attorney-general Tim Smith crashed his car whilst allegedly drunk into a family home, narrowly avoiding a child’s bedroom and returned a blood alcohol reading of 0.131% BAC, over three times the legal limit. 

As a consequence of Mr Smith losing his licence for 12 months, he will be required to complete a Behaviour Change Program and install an interlock for a minimum period of between six months to four years and complete the Victorian Alcohol Interlock Program.

At a press conference on 3 November 2021 Mr Smith told the media it was the “worst decision of his life.

“I’m not (mentally) unwell. I’m an idiot. 

“I’m incredible regretful of what’s occurred,” Mr Smith said.

At the press conference, Mr Smith said he hadn’t had much to eat that day. “As a consequence, I blew much more than I ever thought I had consumed. I’m not offering any excuses,” he said.

However, since last November’s press conference Mr Smith has offered the following excuses, all recognisable signs of alcoholism, according to Alcoholics Anonymous:

  • I didn’t realise I hadn’t eaten enough;
  • I only had a “few glasses” of wine;
  • I think a lot of blokes – and please don’t construe this as an excuse – who live on their own over the last 18 months have drunk too much”;
  • disgraced myself the day I was told “that her [Jane Garrett, MP] cancer had come back”;
  • “I’m not trying to, in any way, take away from my own responsibilities, my own behaviour, but that’s the fact.”

Mr Smith, as the 12 Step program of Alcoholics Anonymous teaches, you and only you, are responsible for your behaviour. Excuses like “a few glasses,” “I hadn’t eaten enough,” and “the pandemic” are exactly that, excuses. It is exactly what alcoholics do to excuse their own behaviour.

Think about it, Mr Smith. You’re of the “tough on law and order” party. Your party often campaigns on “We’ll be tougher than Labor on crime” mantras. Mr Smith, Magistrates don’t accept – and nor does your party accept – people making excuses for their alleged criminal actions.

Ask yourself, Mr Smith if “Sorry Your Honour, I didn’t mean to brutally assault the man, but I didn’t realise I hadn’t eaten enough before I drank.” You and your party would be rightfully outraged at such and want that person locked up, wouldn’t you? Or would their drinking excuse their behaviour?

There’s an AA meeting every Friday Mr Smith that your constituents attend at St Hilary’s Church, 12 John Street, Kew from 6pm. Put down the bottle and perhaps save your political career, and your life, from possible alcoholism.

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