A West Vancouver police officer has been disciplined for arriving at work drunk, and then later driving away.
The cop arrived for the shift smelling of liquor on March 30, 2014, according to a report from the Office of the Police Commissioner.
Another officer noticed the smell on the co-worker's breath and called their supervisor, Const. Jeff Palmer told The Huffington Post B.C. in an email.
The cop — whose name, rank, and gender can't be revealed under the Police Act — was ordered to take a breathalyzer test. The reading came back between .05 and .16 — which is high enough for an possible immediate 24-hour driving ban, but not to be criminally charged.
The department has a zero-tolerance policy for officers working with any substances in their system, so the supervisor began filing a report.
Somehow, the officer somehow managed to drive away in his/her own car while the supervisor's back was turned.
"They made their own decision to leave knowing the results of the test," Palmer said. "Other officers didn't realize he or she was gone until after the fact."
Not caught behind the wheel
Palmer said a search was immediately launched, and the officer was eventually found outside of the vehicle. Because the officer was not caught behind the wheel, police could not invoke a 24-hour driving ban.
"A 24-hour roadside driving prohibition can only be administered when a person is found in care and control of a vehicle," Palmer said. "In this case, there was only officers noticing odour on another officer’s breath and acting on that."
The officer was ultimately given a written reprimand, as well as a one-day, unpaid suspension for driving home.
He/she is now back on duty.
Police Chief Const. Len Georke was "satisfied" with the probe, and said that the cop's actions were "clearly unacceptable," said Palmer.
The chief added that the investigation proved the force is dedicated to holding members accountable for their actions.
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