John Burns.
John Burns.

Radio host sorry for drink-drive blunder

RADIO personality John Burns has been put off the road for a year and fined $500 after being caught drink-driving for the second time.

An apologetic Burns nervously fronted a waiting media pack outside the Melbourne Magistrates' Court where only moments earlier he faced the music.

"It's hardly a good morning. I was treated fairly. I pleaded guilty at the earliest possible chance to .061," he said.

"The police treated my fairly, the court treated me fairly and I've learned my lesson."

The 3AW breakfast star had hosted a charity dinner in October last year when he was pulled over by police at a booze bus on High St, Glen Iris.

John Burns.
John Burns.

He told police he had been drinking wine and had "made a mistake".

Burns reiterated that message upon leaving the court.

"I've got to swallow this and put up with another seven months without being able to drive, which is difficult and I just hope some good comes out of this and people will realise you've got to be very, very careful," he said.

"If you're drinking anything you've got to be careful driving."

Burns was lectured by experienced magistrate Jon Klestadt, who warned him that with a .061 per cent blood alcohol reading, he would have been affected.

"From my own experience at .061 one feels affected and one should be extremely cautious," he told Burns.

The court heard the radio presenter had been previously picked up drink-driving in April 2012 when he blew a fraction over the legal limit with a 0.051 reading.

He copped a fine, but it remained on Burns' record as a prior offence.

Burns had also been previously fined over two other minor traffic offences.

Burns, a former barrister, told the magistrate he had been driving for 54-years and it was the first time he had fronted a court on charges of his own.

Outside court, Burns insisted the drink driving ocurred after he was prevailed upon to remain at a charity function despite doubts being raised over the version of events by the Herald Sun in January.

"I never go out at night when I'm working," he said.

"On this occasion I was talked into being the MC at a charity function … I was prevailed upon to stay and have dinner so I could draw the raffle. During the dinner wine was poured and I was a bit careless in the fact that I obviously had one or two glasses too many."

A running sheet for the night showed Burns speaking at 6.30pm, 10 minutes after dinner was served.

Burns said he believed he would be under the limit even as he pulled up to the booze bus.

"I was absolutely convinced when I went to the booze bus that I was not over the limit. It was a shock," he said.

Burns said he had been seeking alternate travel since losing his licence on-the-spot last October.

"I'm making Mr Uber a wealthy man," he said.

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