Drink-drive crash cop ‘dealt with accordingly’

Court news
Court news

A chief inspector has welcomed a Crawley police officer’s drink-drive sentence.

James Smoothy, 26, of Heathcotes, Maidenbower, was based at Gatwick Airport with British Transport Police (BTP).

A court spokesman said Smoothy was disqualified from driving for two years, fined £400 and ordered to pay £85 costs and £40 victim surcharge after he crashed a car while driving more than twice over the limit for alcohol in Copthorne.

Sussex Police Chief Inspector Phil Nicholas said: “Smoothy made the stupid decision of getting behind the wheel of his car having consumed a large quantity of alcohol. The danger of such actions was clearly evident in the resulting circumstances. Both airbags in the car had deployed and he was fortunate to escape unhurt.

“Smoothy was fully co-operative with police, who were contacted by a member of the public who witnessed the crash. Nevertheless, his actions were both reckless and irresponsible, and he has been dealt with by magistrates accordingly.

“Throughout December, we have seen those who are prepared to drink and drive across a broad range of society, from young adults to pensioners, and from the unemployed to working professionals. This conviction goes to show that no one is exempt from the law.”

Smoothy pleaded guilty to drink-driving when he appeared at Crawley Magistrates’ Court on Friday (January 8).

He was charged with drink-driving a white BMW in Copthorne Way at 2.30am on December 15.

He was arrested after a breath test showed he had 98 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath - more than twice the legal limit of 35mcg.

A BTP spokesman said: “We expect the highest standards of conduct from all our officers.

“The officer involved has left BTP voluntarily prior to a full disciplinary investigation taking place.”

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