Hearse driver not above the law

Gareth McKnightSound Telegraph
Chipper Funerals location manager Debbie Christie was shocked to be pulled over by local police for a breath test while driving a hearse with a coffin in the back.
Camera IconChipper Funerals location manager Debbie Christie was shocked to be pulled over by local police for a breath test while driving a hearse with a coffin in the back. Credit: Gareth McKnight

A local funeral director has found that no one is above suspicion after being pulled over and breathalysed by police recently — while driving a hearse with a coffin in the back.

Chipper Funerals location manager Debbie Christie had just concluded a funeral service and was driving to the cemetery when the boys and girls in blue struck.

“I had just left the funeral home and was on my way to the cemetery — I turned the corner and there was a booze bus set up on Ennis Avenue,” she said.

“There were three cars in front of me that were pulled over. I kept thinking: ‘They won’t pull me over; they won’t pull a hearse over.’ Then all of a sudden he just waved me in there and I had no choice.”

Ms Christie said she thought the officer that directed her in was perhaps unaware she was driving a hearse as he looked at the vehicle from the front.

“Maybe he saw me and thought it was just a Holden,” she said.

“If there had been family following, I wouldn’t have pulled in and just waited until he came over, but who knows what would have happened then?”

Ms Christie said the officer in question may have been the butt of a few jokes later after making her take the breathalyser test.

“The policeman looked quite embarrassed and said ‘I’m so sorry about that’,” she said.

“As I went down the line of policemen they all looked up and were just shaking their heads — it was a bit of a different day for them.”

Ms Christie said the bereaved family took the news in good spirits and said the police were just doing their job.

“I have been with the company for 17 years and I have not seen it before,” she said.

“The way the state of the roads is, they have really got to do what they can — I guess everyone needs to be pulled over.”

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