Brighton police officer rode moped to work while under the influence of alcohol
A Brighton police officer rode his moped to work while under the influence of alcohol and then lied about it to a colleague.
Former PC Lee Colgate’s actions amounted to gross misconduct, a hearing held at Sussex Police headquarters heard today.
On August 22 2020, PC Colgate arrived at John Street Police Station at 3.15pm for a shift, having driven his moped to work.
At 8pm during the shift, a colleague became suspicious that he may have been drinking.
When the sergeant challenged him, PC Colgate denied drinking and said he had not had a drink in about four weeks.
He was asked to take a breath test, which resulted in a reading of 43mg of alcohol per 100 millilitres.
Guy Reynolds, Supervisor at the Police Standards Department, told the hearing that this was above the limit of 13mg.
As a result, PC Colgate was arrested and taken into a custody suite.
A further breath test taken at 9.51pm gave samples showing 29mg of alcohol per 100 millilitres and 30mg per 100 millilitres, Mr Reynolds said.
A back-count done by a professional forensic scientist calculated that he would have 86mg per 100 millilitres in his breath at the time of driving.
On May 5, PC Colgate appeared at Staines Magistrates Court, where he pleaded guilty to drink driving and was disqualified for 12 months.
When interviewed by the Police Standards Department, PC Colegate fully admitted to the allegations against him.
Simon Steele, branch secretary at the Sussex Police Federation, said PC Colgate accepted all of the allegations and had resigned from the force on December 12.
Jo Shiner, chief constable of Sussex Police, said PC Colgate had driven under the influence of alcohol and then compounded the offence by lying about it.
She said that lives were sadly lost everyday as a result of drink driving – a fact that PC Colgate as a police officer would have been well aware of.
“That is why the offence of driving under the influence of alcohol is such a grave one,” she said.
PC Colgate’s behaviour showed ‘a total disregard for public duty’ and, had he not already resigned, he would have faced dismissal without notice, she said.
“The public expect the highest standards of behaviour from police officers and rightly so,” she said.