Mechanic takes Lamborghini for joy ride
A Perth doctor is unable to recover his $A200,000 ($NZ250,245) Lamborghini after it was seized by police who caught his mechanic driving it at speeds up to 70km/h over the limit.
The mechanic was allegedly clocked driving the luxury vehicle at more than 160km/h in a 90km/h zone in Perth's east on Wednesday.
The doctor who owned the car had left it in the care of the garage where the mechanic worked.
Under Western Australia's anti-hoon laws, police can impound any car exceeding the speed limit by more than 60km/h, even if it is not the property of the driver.
Despite an application by the car's owner, the 2006 yellow Lamborghini Gallardo will be impounded for 28 days in line with the state's hoon legislation.
Police said they had not released the car early because the strict criteria of the anti-hoon laws did not permit it, unless the WA police commissioner gave special dispensation.
Police Minister Rob Johnson said he sympathised with the owner but that the law acted as a strong deterrent to hoons.
"I have some sympathy for him but it's a situation that he has to take up with the garage owner," Mr Johnson said on Thursday.
"It's not something that I'm prepared to change the law for, simply because somebody who owns a Lamborghini does not have that car for 28 days."
WA police Assistant Commissioner for Judicial Services Wayne Gregson said there was nothing police could do because "our hands are tied".
He said the police commissioner was the only person entitled to allow a car to be released early.
The Lamborghini's owner did not have extraordinary circumstances which met the criteria for the car's early release.
"We try to be fair, without favours, so whether it's a Lamborghini or whether its a Kingswood or a Holden Commodore, we judge it fair, case by case," Mr Gregson said.
"This case did not meet the grounds of an extraordinary hardship."
A 53-year-old man has been charged with being a hoon in a client's car.
It is the second incident involving the seizure of a luxury car to come to media attention in WA in the past six months.
In July, Australian Financial Review motoring writer Rod Easdown was clocked driving a $A470,000 Ferrari at 231km/h on a country road near the wheatbelt town of Toodyay.
He was fined $1,900, ordered to pay $114 in court costs and lost his licence for six months for driving the Ferrari at more than double the 110km/h limit.