As tributes for Chris Cornell from both fans and musicians pour out across social, one police department is using the fallout from his passing as a cautionary tale to avoid drinking and driving—and stupid excuses for doing so.
Early Friday morning, Western Australia Police posted a photo of a drinking and driving ticket with a far-fetched justification to Twitter. Next to the line "Defendant's explanation" are the words, "I had a shot because Chris Cornell died," leading police to tweet, "Sad day for Chris Cornell fans but no reason to drink and drive."
The tweet was followed by the hashtags #dontdrinkndrive, #drivetosurvive, and #soundgarden, suggesting that police wanted to get as many eyeballs as possible for their PSA. The photo was eventually removed from the WA Police's Twitter page, but not before the Daily Mail grabbed a screenshot of the tweet.
Clearly, police didn't sympathize too much for the heartbroken Soundgarden/Temple of the Dog/Audioslave fan here, and ended up giving him an $800 AUD fine ($596 USD) and deducting five demerit points from his license for having a blood alcohol content of 0.07 percent. Although intoxication can vary based on body weight, age, and other factors, it's highly unlikely that just one shot of booze would cause one to blow 0.07 on a Breathalyzer.
And while it's entirely common to turn to booze to lighten the sting of mourning—including for a rock legend—it won't get you out of a criminal offense. If he was such a big fan, the defendant here should have listened to "Two Drink Minimum," Cornell's own PSA about drinking too much: "But you know I must decline, no more than two drinks away from crying."
MUNCHIES has reached out to the Western Australia Police Department to confirm the veracity of the tweet and ticket but has not yet received a response.
RIP Chris. We'll pour one out for you—but won't get behind the wheel afterwards.