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Drink-drive PC caught using phone on motorway
A POLICE officer was caught drink-driving as she used her mobile phone on the M5 near Worcester.
PC Amy Stuart has been told that she faces losing her job as a police officer after she was stopped between junctions 7 and 8 of the M5.
The 33-year-old admitted driving with excess alcohol and using a handheld mobile phone on December 23 when she appeared before magistrates in Worcester yesterday.
The court was told how officers were on patrol in the outside lane of the M5 heading northbound when they overtook Stuart’s black BMW and saw she was holding a mobile phone in her right hand to her right ear.
Matt Dodson, prosecuting, said: “She stated she had been speaking with her partner. Officers confirmed they could smell alcohol on her breath and required a roadside breath test from her.”
An alcohol reading of 57mcg was recorded at the roadside and a reading of 53mcg at Worcester police station, the figure used as evidence (the legal limit is 35mcg).
Mr Dodson said Stuart, of Victoria Circus, Tewkesbury, had no previous convictions, reprimands or cautions and held a full, clean driving licence at the time.
Nick Smith, defending, said references described her as compassionate and with a great sense of duty and said she was a serving police officer and a police liaison officer in Birmingham.
He said: “She has been an officer since 2004 with an exemplary record. It has been a difficult year. She split from her partner of four years in June and he took his son with him.”
Mr Smith also said she had problems evicting a tenant from a flat she owned where she now lives.
Mr Smith said she had been out the night before with friends in Tewkesbury and “didn’t realise how much she had drunk”. He said police officers had not pulled her over for erratic driving but because she was using her phone.
He said: “It is usual that police officers lose their jobs when they’re caught drink- driving. I don’t say it’s absolutely inevitable but there’s a very, very high risk of it.
“She is a dedicated officer and wishes to continue in that. She fully accepts what she did was wrong and she knows, as an officer, one should be careful.
“She overlooked the circumstances the night before – she was stupid and silly and she is ashamed of her actions. She realises she has brought herself into disrepute and, by way of her behaviour, the force into disrepute.”
Magistrates banned her from driving for 12 months and fined her £400 for drink- driving. She was fined £130 for the mobile phone offence and her licence will be endorsed with three penalty points. She was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a victim surcharge of £40.
If she completes a drink-drive course she can be back on the road by October 9.
After the hearing a spokesman for West Midlands Police said: “We can confirm she is a serving West Midlands Police officer and an internal misconduct investigation will now commence.”