An Adelaide man was pulled over by police yesterday and charged with drink-driving. What makes the case unusual is that he happened to be dressed as an Imperial Storm Trooper from the movie Star Wars. This got us wondering: if the man had been completely sober, could the police still have booked him for wearing a vision-impairing helmet? Or can drivers stick anything they like on their heads when behind the wheel?
Photo: SA Police News
"A Sturt traffic officer had an interesting stop in the early hours of Sunday morning, when the driver of a car he had pulled over was wearing a Storm Trooper fancy dress costume," explains SA Police's official Facebook page.
"Police will allege at about 4.15am on Cross Road at Cumberland Park, the Holden sedan that the Trooper was driving (his speeder bike was being repaired) was seen to leave a car park without its lights on, attracting the attention of police. The 27-year-old Myrtle Bank man submitted to a breath test, returning a reading of 0.085.
"He was reported for exceeding the prescribed concentration of alcohol, received a six-month instant loss of licence notice and had his car impounded for 28 days. He will be summonsed to appear in court at a later date."
We think it's interesting that the police initially pulled the man over for failing to turn on his headlights, while the huge helmet on his noggin received no mention.
Storm Trooper masks are notable for having cool black eye-slits. However, as any cosplayer worth their salt will tell you, the trade-off is greatly reduced vision for the wearer. (Or as Luke Skywalker put it in Episode IV: "I can't see a thing in this helmet!" )
Despite this, there don't appear to be any explicit laws in Australia that prohibit drivers from wearing bulky masks or other novelty headwear. (If your state or territory has a specific road rule that covers this, please provide us with a link and we'll update the article.)
Of course, this doesn't necessarily mean you're free to dress up as Darth Vader or Optimus Prime should the mood strike you — if the mask partially restricts your field of vision, you could end up with a reckless and negligent driving charge; especially if you were involved in a car accident.
Regardless of the legalities, it's obviously a pretty stupid idea to wear anything that partially restricts your vision. As VicRoads eloquently puts it:
Driving is complex and challenging. A simple way to make driving safer is to reduce the number of non-driving and distracting activities you undertake while driving.
We think you'll agree that dressing in a full Storm Trooper uniform is pretty damn distracting — both for you and other drivers. If your planning to go all out this Halloween, our advice is to keep your car at home and hitchhike to the party instead. No wait, that's probably even more dangerous. Er, take the bus. The other passengers will love you. Probably.
What's the weirdest thing you've worn while driving? Were you pulled over by police and if so, what happened? Share you stories in the comments section below.