Why a former cop was let off for mid-range drink driving
A MAGISTRATE has allowed a former police officer busted for mid-range drink driving to keep her licence and have no conviction on her record.
The former Victorian country cop, who will not be named, is currently on a police pension due to post-traumatic stress disorder and other related health conditions. She retired four years ago.
She represented herself in Lismore Local Court on Monday to plead guilty to one count of driving with a mid-range concentration of alcohol in her bloodstream, after being breath tested on September 13 in South Lismore.
Magistrate Michael Dakin noted with interest that she was a former uniformed officer, and asked her why someone "particularly with your background" would be drinking and driving.
"Did you attend traffic accidents?" he asked.
"All the time, this is why it was so out of character," she replied.
"I was suicidal that night and I had a misadventure later that night with police."
Weeping, the woman told the court she was starting a course on the Gold Coast to assist her with her mental health difficulties, but remarked she had "fallen through the cracks for the last four years trying to get help".
"I feel like I've really put my health at risk."
"Your injury was recognised as work related?" Magistrate Dakin asked.
"Yes, it was," she replied.
Asked for his input, police prosecutor Brett Gradisnik said the woman had a "blank record" and there agreed there were "compelling reasons" why she could be given a reprieve.
"At the end of the day, if Your Honour wishes to dispose of the matter without conviction I wouldn't oppose, (although) it is a high reading," he said.
Magistrate Dakin said the case was "particularly compelling" and he was "concerned" about the woman lacking support.
"You won't lose your licence today... there will be no conviction recorded," he said.
He emphasised it had "nothing to do" with her being a former police officer, but the reasons why she was discharged from the force.
She received a Conditional Release Order with no conviction recorded, with a two year good behaviour bond.