• Austria's news in English

Police thought stroke victim was drunk

The Local · 14 Aug 2014, 14:28

Published: 14 Aug 2014 14:28 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The lawyer for the 58-year-old woman (who wishes to remain anonymous) has referred the case to the state prosecutor.

On June 12th his client bumped and scratched three parked cars shortly before midnight, with her own car. The woman, who is a violinist and leads an orchestra, was returning home after a quick drink with friends.

A passer by helped her get out of her car "as she was very ill and could barely stand on her feet", her lawyer said. 

Police who arrived on the scene assumed the woman was drunk and asked her to take a breathalyzer test to see if she was over the limit. 

The woman was unable to take the test - which police interpreted as a refusal. Her lawyer said she was unable to comply with their request because she had suffered a minor stroke whilst driving - something she didn't realise at the time. 

"I was paralysed on the left side of my face - a typical sign of a stroke, and this is why I couldn't take the test," the woman told the Salzburger Nachrichten paper. 

She was then made to stand for two hours at the police station, and was asked to take the test again, before being sent home after a further two hours. A policeman reportedly said to her; "don't be so stupid, even a child can do this, but you're too drunk". 

She said that she went to a doctor the next day, and has since received treatment at a specialist clinic. 

"Through the intervention of the police my client was only able to seek medical treatment ten or 12 hours after the event," her lawyer said - and pointed out that this could have a lasting impact on her health.

She is worried that she won't be able to continue her work with the orchestra as a doctor has told her it might be a year before she makes a full recovery. 

Robert Holzleitner, deputy spokesman for the prosecutor's office, said they had a duty to investigate the allegations that the police had failed to assist the woman. 

She returned home and went to bed after the incident. She told the Salzburger Nachrichten that the police should have been able to recognize that she had had a stroke, even if she didn't realize it herself.

"Police should be able to distinguish if someone needs medical help, or is just drunk. They are supposed to protect people, and giving First Aid is one of their duties," she said. 

The press office at Salzburg's police department said that they were aware of the case and that all the facts were being reviewed. 






For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Austrian far-right leader brands Merkel 'dangerous'
Heinz-Christian Strache. Photo: Facebook/Personal

The head of Austria's far-right Freedom Party has branded Angela Merkel Europe's most dangerous politician.

Austria 'horror clown' attacks leave several injured
Clown performers are not happy about the negative media stories. Photo: Graeme Maclean/Flickr

Several people have been injured in attacks by masked assailants dressed as 'creepy clowns' in the lead-up to Halloween.

Brunnenmarkt murder 'could have been prevented'
Locals remember the murdered woman. Photo: Wien Caritas

The random murder of a woman in Vienna could have been prevented if the homeless and mentally disturbed man who killed her had been admitted to a psychiatric institution.

Iraqi family ask ECJ to help them stay in Austria
Kumberg locals hold a vigil for the family. Photo: ORF

A group of people from Kumberg in Styria have asked the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for help in trying to stop the deportation of an Iraqi family.

The Local List
Five things you need to know about winter tyres
Photo: carmagazine.co.uk

It’s that time of year when temperatures start to plunge and drivers are advised to switch to winter tyres to avoid being caught out by snow and ice on the roads.

Radioactive uranium rocks on display in Austrian schools
Uraninite crystals. Photo: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com/Wikimedia

Education officials have carried out urgent checks in schools across the country after one of the stones on display in a classroom turned out to be radioactive.

Austrian churches slam far-right's 'God' slogan
Campaign poster for Norbert Hofer. Photo: Paul Gillingwater

Austrian church officials have denounced far-right presidential candidate Norbert Hofer for "instrumentalising" God in a new slogan.

'Scary clown' pushes 14-year-old off his bike in Salzburg
Generic photo: Graeme Maclean/Flickr

A 14-year-old boy in Salzburg has been injured after being pushed off his bike by an individual dressed as a scary clown.

Police puzzled by random stabbing of teenager in Vienna
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A 15-year-old boy who was stabbed near his home in the Vienna district of Liesing on Friday morning by a complete stranger has spoken to the police.

'Sensational' 300-year-old Madonna found in Burgenland
The head of the statue was found beside the body. Photo: ORF

A 300-year-old statue of the Virgin Mary has been found hidden in a chapel next to a Catholic church in Loretto, Burgenland.

12 brilliant German words you won't find in English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Five films which will change your mind about Austrian cinema
Those surprising Austrians!
100 years since the last emperor's death
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Der you learn Deutsch?
Delighted by the light
Beware these passport scams
Of course we skipped Oarsch
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
10 years after her escape from captivity
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Europe's ice cream capital
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
jobs available