Thursday, July 14, 2011

Police Officer of the Year escapes conviction for drink-driving

Excellent: Now we all know how to get off a drink-driving charge. Say that a conviction would "impact on your 'economic or social well-being'"

THE Gold Coast's Police Officer of the Year has escaped a conviction for drink-driving after a court accepted it would impact on his 'economic or social well-being'.

Police asked for a conviction to be recorded against Senior Constable Michael Froggatt but Southport magistrate Terry Duroux exercised his discretion not to impose one.

Mr Duroux said he accepted Sen Const Froggatt had shown 'very genuine' remorse and faced being demoted and having his pay docked by the Queensland Police Service.

Sen Const Froggatt pleaded guilty today to drink-driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.085 per cent after being picked up in Surfers Paradise following a night-shift at the weekend. He is believed to have gone to the Sin City nightclub after finishing work.

Sen-Const Froggatt has been stood down from operational duties and faces an internal investigation after breath-testing himself before getting into his vehicle.

Defence lawyer Bill Potts said police were subjected to the same 'failure, weaknesses and misjudgments' as everyone and Sen Const Froggatt accepted he had let down his colleagues and the community. But he said the community asked 'an awful lot' of police and Sen Const Froggatt had worked two 13-hour shifts before he was nabbed for drink-driving. "Is it any wonder a man has a drink to relax and take the edge off the tension of working in Surfers Paradise?" he told the court. Mr Potts said his client had also been shamed in the media.

Mr Duroux said he accepted the community did ask a lot of police and took into account character references, including one from the vice-chancellor of Bond University where Sen Const Froggatt is studying a criminology degree part-time.

The magistrate fined Sen Const Froggatt $400 and disqualified him from driving for three months, but ordered no conviction be recorded.


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