Drink-drive Pc banned

A SOHAM police officer will almost certainly lose his job and his home after crashing his sports car whilst he was more than twice over the drink-drive limit. Pc Stephen Winter, 43, formerly of Paddock Street, admitted a charge of driving under the influ

A SOHAM police officer will almost certainly lose his job and his home after crashing his sports car whilst he was more than twice over the drink-drive limit.

Pc Stephen Winter, 43, formerly of Paddock Street, admitted a charge of driving under the influence at The Causeway, Isleham, on January 7.

Winter's estranged wife was driving the pair to Soham in their MG when the car's head gasket failed, causing the engine to smoke.

Huntingdon magistrates heard how Winter's wife "refused point blank" to drive the car any further and that her husband got behind the wheel instead, having drunk four or five large glasses of wine during a meeting between the two at a Cambridge pub.


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Winter, who now lives in police accommodation in Cambridge, drove the car just a few hundred metres before he crashed into a parked car at The Causeway, prompting its owners to rush out to find Winter in the driver's seat of his stationary MG further down the road.

Extensive damage was caused to both vehicles.

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Winter later recorded a breath test reading of 91 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 millilitres.

Mitigating, Roy James said Winter had never made a pre-meditated decision to drive the car, and described Winter, who served in the army for 10 years before serving as a police officer in Cambridge for 11, as "a man of exemplary character".

"There is an inevitability about it that he will be dismissed from the force unless he can convince a panel that there are exceptional circumstances," he said.

"He will, in all likelihood, lose his police accommodation as well."

Mr James added that Winter's profession may cause difficulties with a community service order.

Presiding magistrate Peter Ballard said the "totality of effects" the incident would have on Winter's life would be taken into account and imposed a £600 fine with £55 costs.

Winter was banned from driving for two years but elected to undergo a driver's rehabilitation course to reduce the ban to 18 months. He will now face a disciplinary hearing with the police.

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