A court has allowed a Belgian lawyer convicted of drink driving to keep his car after he argued it was his "only friend".
In January 2018 the lawyer (let's call him Rudy, since his identity is protected), rammed his Jaguar into a parked vehicle near his home in Flanders. Rudy fled the scene, but police tracked him down at his address and made him carry out a breathalyser test, which returned a result of "dronken".
In August 2018, Rudy had another brush with the authorities when he was sozzled and spotted struggling to park his car. A breathalyser test confirmed that he had again imbibed a skinful and was way above the legal limit.
Rudy was banned from driving for twelve months and fined EUR9,600. The court also ordered him to retake his driving test, pass medical and psychological tests and install an ignition breathalyser device in his car. Worst of all for lonely Rudy, the court told him his Jag would be confiscated.
On appeal, Rudy accepted he was in the wrong, but told the court "if I lose my car, I can no longer practise my profession". He pleaded "please do not take my Jaguar, because it is the only friend I have left".
Friends. Don't judge.
He said that since the last conviction he had "hardly dare to drink a drop". The judge allowed Rudy to keep his car, let’s call her ‘Judy’, but said the rest of the order would stand.