A Liberal MP who admitted he “felt like an idiot” after he was caught driving four times over the legal alcohol limit has announced his departure from politics.
Simon Ramsay was charged with drink-driving last weekend when police pulled him over after his car was seen veering onto the wrong side of the road.
The western Victorian MP released a statement on Tuesday and announced that he would step away from politics at the next Victorian election. The decision comes after Opposition Leader Matthew Guy told him to “reflect upon his future” as an MP after the news broke.
Ramsay said in a statement: “I am deeply remorseful for my actions and apologise for my error of judgment. I also regret any embarrassment and hurt caused to my family, friends, colleagues and the Liberal Party.”
Ramsay, who sits in the Upper House in Victoria’s parliament, was stopped by cops in Barwon Heads near Geelong, Victoria, at around 11.30pm on July 21 and blew a breathalyser reading of 0.19 — the legal limit is 0.05.
Speaking after the incident, he told the Geelong Advertiser: “I’m not hiding from anything. I feel like an idiot.
“I’m really gutted that I did such a thing and the actions are inexcusable. The consequences will haunt me forever.”
The state politician is thought to have spent the day at the football where he consumed several alcoholic beverages, with sources suggesting to the local newspaper that the pollie was struggling due to the breakdown of his relationship.
Following his arrest, Ramsay made the decision to step down from his position as shadow parliamentary secretary. He handed his resignation in to Guy.
Speaking on ABC Radio on Monday, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said it was up to Ramsay whether he will remain in parliament. He said: “In all of my dealings with Simon Ramsay he has always been … a decent person. I’m sure we don’t agree on many things but I’m not about making what would be a very difficult time for him worse.”
Ramsay was elected as an MP for the Western Victoria Region in 2010 and spent four years as president of the Victorian Farmers Federation, until 2009.
Victoria will go to the polls on November 24, in an election that will be fought over law and order policies.