Drink-driving police officer keeps job

A FEMALE police officer who was convicted of drink-driving will remain in her post despite being handed a 12-month road ban.

Elliot Furniss

A FEMALE police officer who was convicted of drink-driving will remain in her post despite being handed a 12-month road ban.

Detective Constable Sarah Corrigan, 29, has been handed a final written warning by Essex Police at a police disciplinary hearing and has now been cleared to carry on with her work.

She appeared at Colchester Magistrates' Court last month and District Judge David Cooper was told she had been stopped by officers in September on Mersea Road in Colchester.

Tests carried out shortly after revealed that she had exceeded the legal blood alcohol limit with 86mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood - the legal limit is 80mg.

After admitting the charge, Corrigan, of President Road, Lexden, received a year-long ban, a �200 fine and was ordered to pay �75 costs.

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An Essex Police spokesman said: “The 29-year-old officer has received a final written warning.”

Last night an anti-drink-drive campaigner called for the legal limit to be lowered in order to remove the existing “grey area” that left many people under the impression they were within the limit after having one or two drinks.

Stephen Bell's 14-year-old daughter Jordan was killed last year when she was hit by a car being driven by a man who was just under the legal drink drive limit.

Mr Bell, a colour sergeant in the Parachute Regiment, and his wife Michelle, both 41, are campaigning to see the limit reduced to just 50mg per 100ml of blood, as it is in some European countries.

Mr Bell, who also runs a driving school with his wife, said: “She (Corrigan) should know better in her position. This is the very reason why we want the limit lowered.

“She was 86 - the legal limit is 80. Any amount of alcohol will impair your reaction time, so obviously we don't condone anything she has done. If the limit had been 50 she would have known.”

Jordan died after being hit by a Volkswagen Golf GTI being driven by Mark Batten, who later admitted driving without due care and attention and at excessive speed.

He was fined a total of �750 and disqualified from driving for 12 months but was not charged with a more serious offence because he was 2mg under the limit.

Batten, of Pebmarsh Road, Colchester, had sounded his horn and did “all he could” to avoid hitting Jordan, who some witnesses said had stepped out into Layer Road without apparently looking as she listened to a portable music player.

Anyone wishing to sign Mr and Mrs Bell's petition supporting their cause can contact them on email at michelle.d.bell@btopenworld.com