Page last updated at 05:49 GMT, Friday, 2 May 2008 06:49 UK

Officer's drink-driving double

By Johnny Caldwell
BBC News

Police officer performing a breath test
Two officers were convicted of the offence twice in 2007

A police officer convicted of drink-driving twice is currently suspended on full pay.

He is believed to be one of two officers convicted of the offence twice during 2007, BBC News can reveal.

A PSNI spokesman said the officer has been suspended from duty "pending the result of the misconduct process".

The news will come as further embarrassment to the PSNI, which last year announced a clampdown on drink-driving among its officers.

The officer under the spotlight on this occasion was fined an undisclosed sum after his first conviction for drink-driving.

At least three other officers are understood to have been convicted of drink-driving twice in recent years. They were all eventually dismissed or forced to resign.

"Whilst the PSNI takes seriously any wrongdoing by an officer, the number of (drink-driving) cases must be put into context of the overall size of the force," added the PSNI spokesman.

He also said the force does not, as a general rule, comment on the actions of individual officers.

Ulster Unionist Policing Board member Basil McCrea said: "What is clearly not acceptable is for the public to sit and think that people are not being dealt with appropriately.

"There is an issue of public confidence. It is important that we get that situation out to the public and assure them that the police operate to the highest ethical standards.

"There is an issue over whether we need some form of accelerated justice proceedings. If you expect the highest standards from police officers... when situations arise you need to come to a quick decision."

Drink-drive officer back on beat
09 Jan 08 |  Northern Ireland
Safety ad move after officer fine
30 May 07 |  Northern Ireland

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