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Police constable convicted of drink driving offence

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A police officer who previously spearheaded an alcohol awareness campaign has lost his licence after being caught driving while over the legal limit.

PC Matthew Hall had drunk two cans of beer before getting behind the wheel of his vehicle.

The 42-year-old was subsequently stopped by fellow officers in Epsom, Surrey.

A breath test found that he had 45 micrograms of alcohol in his system (the legal limit is 35.)

Crawley Magistrates Court heard that Hall was a man of good character and had no previous convictions.

He accepted that he had made a “huge error” on September 21 and, as a serving policeman, should have known better.

Mike Johnson, the chair of the bench, handed him a 12 month driving ban and he was also ordered to pay a fine and costs.

In a statement Surrey Police said Hall was “on restricted duties pending the outcome of misconduct proceedings.”

The force had been accused of double standards by the Surrey Mirror after requesting that the newspaper did not publish the defendant’s full address. This is despite a policy of releasing details of those convicted of similar offences.

In an editorial, the paper said: “Why did they feel it appropriate to try to exempt one of their own officers from this rule? Was it simply a case of looking after one of their own?”

If you are charged with a road traffic offence, it is important to seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity to ensure the best possible representation. For further details about how Lester Morrill’s road traffic team can help you, please contact us.

The Police Federation agreed that more accurate crime data had influenced the figures, although members do not believe this tells the whole story.

Nick Smart, who chairs the organisation’s West Yorkshire branch, said: “Having lost 1,200 plus West Yorkshire police officers in five years, or 20 per cent of the police workforce, an increase in crime is also partly due to less officer visibility and deterrent.”

At Lester Morrill, our criminal law team has experience advising those facing a range of charges. For advice on all your options, please contact our Leeds-based solicitors today.