Drink drive policeman banned

A SUFFOLK police sergeant was banned from the roads for 16 months today after being caught drink driving just yards away from the force's Martlesham headquarters.

A SUFFOLK police sergeant has been banned from driving for 16 months after being caught drink driving just yards away from the force's Martlesham headquarters.

As reported in later editions of yesterday's Evening Star, Sgt Michael Drew, who is based in Woodbridge, has also been suspended from duty and now faces an internal disciplinary hearing to decide his future.

The 41-year-old was nearly twice the legal drink drive limit when his erratic driving was spotted by an unmarked police car, at about 9.30pm on Sunday.

He had earlier been drinking with friends at Martlesham's Black Tiles pub and was on his way home when stopped.

Drew, of Francis Close, Kesgrave, was pulled over into a bus stop after being seen to tailgate the vehicle in front of his Mazda MX5.

When stopped, he admitted he had been drinking and gave a reading of 61 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

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Neil Macaulay, prosecuting, said Drew was taken to Ipswich police station, and was "polite and compliant" throughout.

Appearing before South East Suffolk Magistrates, he pleaded guilty to the offence. He was also fined £400 and ordered to pay £34 costs.

If he completes a drink driver rehabilitation course, he could reduce the length of his ban and be back behind a wheel by February next year.

Mitigating, Nigel Innis, asked magistrates to give Drew "maximum credit" for his early guilty plea.

He said: "He is not looking to make any excuses and fully accepts what happened."

Mr Innis said Drew had been drinking on an empty stomach and had not intended to stay at the pub as long as he did.

But when more of his friends arrived, he decided to stay and have more to drink.

Mr Innis added: "When they left, his friends offered him a taxi. He said no because he felt fine."

Drew, a police officer of 15 years, with no previous convictions, now faces the possibility of losing his job.

Speaking after the hearing, Simon Stevens, Suffolk Constabulary spokesman, said: "The officer is currently suspended from duty and will now be subject to an internal disciplinary hearing."

Drew's job involved working in the Woodbridge sector, which covers villages and towns including Wickham Market, Kesgrave, Melton, Martlesham and Rendlesham.

What do you think of this case? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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