Haider over legal alcohol limit at time of crash

Austrian Freedom Party leader Joerg Haider had more than three times the legal alcohol limit in his blood when he crashed his car and was killed October 11, his party says.


Austrian far-right leader Joerg Haider was more than three times over the legal alcohol limit when he crashed his car and was killed at the weekend, his party said Wednesday.

"It is true that governor Joerg Haider had 1.8 grammes of alcohol in his blood at the time of the accident," his successor as head of the Alliance for the Future of Austria, Stefan Petzner, told APA news agency.

The legal limit in Austria is 0.5 grammes of alcohol per litre of blood.

Haider, 58, was doing more than twice the 70 kilometre (43 mile) per hour speed limit when he crashed in the early hours of Saturday after leaving a night club in Carinthia province, prosecutors said.

His Volkswagen Phaeton was overtaking when it smashed into a concrete post and a fire hydrant before flipping over, flattening the vehicle.

The controversial politician died on his way to hospital after suffering severe head, chest and spinal injuries.

Haider was leaving Klagenfurt to return to his home in Baerental, south of the city, where he was due to celebrate his mother's 90th birthday.

Following the new revelations, Petzner called on the media "to stop investigating the accident" and respect the private life of the outspoken far-right leader.

A procession and memorial service will be held on Saturday in Klagenfurt to commemorate Haider's life.



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