9 Nov 2009

Police say they treat drink driving officers seriously

8:30 pm on 9 November 2009

The police say it's likely officers facing drink-drive charges will vigorously defend any charges because if convicted they will lose their jobs.

In the last three years, 16 officers have been prosecuted, but only five have been convicted, and three are yet to appear in court.

Four had their cases dismissed, three were discharged without conviction and one was found not guilty.

New Zealand Police says it takes any drink driving by its officers very seriously.

Human resources manager Wayne Annan says the police deny that there is one rule for the public and another for police officers.

He says both the public and the police hierarchy expect high standards of behaviour from officers, than is expected for the general public.

Police 'treated same as public'

The Police Association says officers caught drink-driving are not treated any differently from the public.

President Greg O'Connor says if the public is looking for reassurance police officers don't get special treatment they need only to look at the fact that officers caught do end up in court.

From that point on, he says, it's up to the courts.

Mr O'Connor says any officer convicted of drink driving is sacked.

He says given total staff numbers of about 10,000, the number caught drink-driving in the last three years is not high, although one is one too many.