A police officer who’d only been on the job for four months was arrested after he returned a blood-alcohol reading almost five times over the limit following a crash in a Sydney school zone.
The 25-year-old allegedly blew 0.243 at Liverpool police station after he slammed into a ute in Ashcroft in the city’s southwest at around 3.30pm on Wednesday.
Images shown by 9 News from inside the man's Honda Accord show the backseat littered with more than a dozen empty cans and bottles of cider and beer, and a cask of wine. More cans could be seen in the centre console.
“I don’t know how you defend it,” NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb told Sydney radio station 2GB, saying she was “gravely concerned” about the incident.
The 35-year-old man inside the Toyota Hilux and his young daughter, who was in the backseat, were uninjured in the crash, however police told Yahoo News Australia the four-year-old girl was taken to hospital as a precaution.
Police commissioner looks to sack cop
The off-duty probationary officer, who is attached to a command within the South West Metropolitan Area, was arrested at the scene on Maxwells Avenue after blowing a positive roadside breath test. He’s been charged with high-range PCA [prescribed content of alcohol] and is due to appear in Liverpool Local Court on December 14. The 25-year-old has also had his licence suspended and his employment status is under review, but the commissioner says she’s keen to take action right away.
“There’s a process,” she told 2GB. “I’ve got to serve him papers. He gets a chance to respond but I can start all of that and intend to start all of that before the court matter comes up.”
Commissioner Webb added that while she cannot sack people on the spot, there is a “lower threshold for probationary constables".
Altercation between drivers
Before the officer was arrested, a heated argument allegedly broke out between the 25-year-old and the driver of the Toyota Hilux.
A neighbour told Nine Nines he saw a paramedic separate an “altercation” between the two men and overheard the ute driver saying the cop crossed the median line “out of nowhere".
“It could have been a lot worse,” the witness said, adding that the footpath was normally busy with parents and schoolchildren at that time of day. “There was a cyclist that almost got taken out as well.”
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