Drink-driver’ let go by police
Police have launched an internal inquiry after a driver alleged to have been “drinking the whole day” was allowed to walk away by officers having crashed his car.
An e-mail exchange that came into the possession of The Royal Gazette — between a witness to the crash and Chief Inspector Robert Cardwell, the head of traffic policing — confirmed an investigation into the conduct of the two officers who attended the crash scene.
Mr Cardwell told the female witness: “I am exceptionally disappointed and perhaps frustrated. What has happened flies in the face of all our efforts to combat instances of impaired driving.”
The incident happened on Sunday night after the man was seen by Mr Cardwell drinking at the Spanish Point Boat Club in Pembroke.
Mr Cardwell was at the club as commodore for the Bermuda Power Boat Association, which was holding its season-ending series races on Sunday.
He told the witness: “The attending officers have reported they detected no signs of impairment at the collision scene.
“I happened to be at SPBC through the day on Sunday, organising and facilitating the powerboat races.
“I saw the driver at the bar the whole day, drinking beers.”
He added that there was a strong possibility that the man was over the drink-driving limit when he got behind the wheel and crashed into a utility pole in the car park at grocery store M Soares & Sons on Spanish Point Road at about 9pm.
Mr Cardwell told the woman he would make a report to Deputy Commissioner Paul Wright, who is in charge of service discipline, because there was evidence there had been a breach of “professional standards, code of ethics and code of conduct”.
He added: “I am aware that the deputy commissioner will launch a formal internal inquiry, which is likely to identify a breach of the code of conduct and could result in the officers in question requiring retraining.” No one was injured, but power supplies were interrupted until a Belco crew repaired the damage.
The witness, who asked not to be named, wrote to the police on Monday and said that the driver of the car was seen drinking alcohol by several people over the course of the day.
She added that the two officers attending the scene did not conduct any sobriety field tests or demand a breathalyser test.
The witness said: “You could smell the alcohol on him. Why did the officers do nothing?
“Why are we left having to risk our lives as we come and go while he continues to be belligerent and get behind the wheel?
“What will it take? Him killing an innocent family before something is done?”
A police spokesman said: “The BPS has received information that we will follow up on with a view to determining if the officers have breached any of the standards of professional behaviour.”
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