Foo Fighters leader Dave Grohl regrets his recent drunken-driving conviction in Australia but doesn't want anyone thinking "that I'm out here on tour, wrapping cars around trees."
"I guess if there's anything to learn here, it's don't drive after a few beers, even if you feel entirely capable, like I did," Grohl wrote in a posting Monday on the band's official Web site (www.foofighters.com).
Grohl was driving a moped on Australia's Gold Coast after the Foo Fighters' Jan. 23 performance on the Big Day Out festival tour. He was stopped at a sobriety checkpoint in Queensland and was arrested when his blood alcohol level was found to be .095, almost twice Australia's legal limit of .05.
The singer was jailed, his Australian driving privileges were suspended for three months and he received a $400 fine ($255 U.S.).
The singer and former Nirvana drummer explained that he and Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins had rented motor scooters on their day off from the tour.
He said he wasn't worried because he was on "the silliest little scooter you've ever seen." He said he'd only had four or five beers in a period of "3-1/2 or four hours, and I thought they'd wave me by. I wasn't driving recklessly, I wasn't pulled over.
"About a mile or two before the hotel, there was a police breathalyzer stop thingy," Grohl wrote.
A spokesperson for the Foo Fighters, who requested anonymity, confirmed that the posting was from Grohl.
The band's fans seem to sympathize with the singer. "The [drunken-driving] laws in Australia in general are pretty harsh, so I'm not surprised they pulled Dave over even on a moped," 26-year-old New Zealander Tarsha Tolson wrote in a representative comment posted on a message board on the official Foo Fighters site. "It's pretty anal-retentive, but they're strict in Aussie and here in New Zealand."
Even though Australia's drunken-driving laws are more stringent than those in the U.S. (California's legal limit, among the strictest in the U.S., is .08), Americans traveling outside the U.S. should note such differences, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) spokesperson Tresa Hardt said.
"When you go to another country, you should be aware of the laws in that country and adhere to them," Hardt said. "As far as his [Grohl's] particular situation, MADD doesn't feel that a celebrity should have any harsher treatment than any other person, and to be completely safe, the best thing to do is not get behind the wheel. It's fortunate for Dave that no one was killed or injured.
"Unfortunately, a lot of people out there are endangering their lives and those of others," Hardt continued. "I hope this incident is a learning experience for Dave and his fans and that they remember not to drink and drive."
The Foo Fighters were touring behind the release of their third album, There Is Nothing Left to Lose, which features the single "Stacked Actors" (RealAudio excerpt). The band will be one of the supporting acts on a Red Hot Chili Peppers U.S. tour that kicks off on March 24 at the Target Center in Minneapolis.