Northumbria Police detective chief inspector sacked for drink driving in Seaton Burn
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Martin Brooks was pulled over while off duty on May 20 earlier this year on Front Street and was found to have consumed more than the legal limit of alcohol.
He was breathalysed and registered a reading of 49 micrograms of alcohol in 100ml of breath, when the limit is 35 micrograms.
Brooks pleaded guilty to the offence at Teesside Magistrates’ Court on June 7, which fined him £800 and banned him from driving for 12 months.
Now he has lost his job following a misconduct hearing chaired by Chief Constable Vanessa Jardine on October 25.
In her report on the hearing’s outcome, CC Jardine said that Brooks’ “discreditable conduct” amounted to gross misconduct and was serious enough to justify his dismissal.
She said: “This was off duty conduct with no connection to the officer’s duties, but this conduct will undoubtedly undermine public confidence in policing.
“He alone is responsible for his decisions. The officer submits that he miscalculated the amount and felt fine to drive. However, the legal limit is there for good reason. It is not for individuals to conduct their own personal calculation of whether they are fit to drive.”
Brooks’ remorse for his actions, his sober appearance when he was arrested, and the fact his conduct was brought to police attention by an ex-partner were considered as mitigating factors in the hearing.
However, CC Jardine said the public would “rightly be concerned” if an officer with a criminal conviction was allowed to keep working and branded his conduct “unacceptable behaviour for any serving police officer.”
She also said: “This force, along with all forces nationally, have run campaigns for many years about the dangers of drink driving. All police officers are aware of the requirement not to drink and drive.
“Whilst it is correct that on this occasion no actual harm was caused, the driving was stopped by police intervention and it cannot be known whether this would have been the case if the officer had continued on his journey.
“At the very least, driving whilst over the prescribed limit gave rise to a significant risk of harm to the public.”