Decorated cop crashes police car nearly five times limit
An off-duty senior constable took a police cruiser for a spin five hours after his shift ended and while nearly five times the legal blood alcohol limit.
Jimboomba officer Snr Const Ric George Lee-Anderson, 35, was caught when he failed to take a bend on Waterford Tamborine Rd at Tamborine, rolling and totalling the vehicle, Beenleigh Magistrates Court heard.
A subsequent breath analysis revealed a reading of 0.24 per cent BAC.
The incident occurred about 9.30pm on November 23 last year.
Snr Const Lee-Anderson signed out a Mazda 3 police cruiser on November 14 for work purposes.
The cruiser container a variety of specialist equipment and other items used in daily police duties, the court heard.
Snr Const Lee-Anderson completed patrols in the Ipswich area at 3pm and proceeded back to his home address.
Police prosecutor Tim Wise told the court officers were required to keep their police vehicles garaged when not travelling to and from work or using it for work purposes.
The court heard Snr Const Lee-Anderson had planned to stay at a friend's place the night of the incident, but couldn't remember why he left their place when he did.
He was travelling on Waterford Tamborine Rd in the direction of Yarrabilba when he failed to take the bend.
Officers attending the rollover could smell alcohol on Snr Const Lee-Anderson and analysis done at the Gold Coast University Hospital revealed the astronomical BAC reading, just shy of five times the legal limit.
Mr Wise said Queensland Police was seeking restitution amounts of about $28,000 for the totalled vehicle and about $18,000 for the damaged equipment contained within.
Defence lawyer Calvin Gnoch told the court his client's decision to get behind the wheel was driven by an adverse medical diagnosis and Snr Const Lee-Anderson had not drunk since the rollover.
Mr Gnoch said his client began his Queensland Police career in 2010.
He was assigned to a variety of stations in North Brisbane, including Pine Rivers, Sandgate and Boondall, and in 2016 was promoted to a specialist surveillance team, working on high-profile cold case murders and drug operations among others.
He has received citations for work performed during the 2011 Queensland Floods, 2014 G20 Summit and 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Mr Gnoch said his client was still in negotiations with the Queensland Police insurer as to the amount he will have to pay.
He also noted his client would still be subject to Queensland Police disciplinary proceedings which will consider his fitness to serve.
Snr Const Lee-Anderson has been stood down from his duties since the accident.
Magistrate Kerrie O'Callaghan fined Snr Const Lee-Anderson $1800, ordered he pay $6000 restitution, and disqualified him from driving for six months.
No convictions were recorded.
Originally published as Decorated cop crashes police car nearly five times limit