New Zealand policeman charged with drunk driving

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Thursday, August 3, 2006

Taranaki, New Zealand policeman, Constable Jonathan Erwood, has been charged with drunk driving after responding to a double fatality emergency call on July 9, his day off. He had been giving the driver first aid and then after 20 minutes at the scene another police officer turned up and breathalysed him.

He was then taken to the police station and undertook an elected blood test, which he failed. The limit is 80-milligrams per 100-millilitres and Erwood had 106-milligrams of alcohol per 100-millilitres.

The crash was between Taranaki and Waikato, which is on State Highway 3. He appeared in court today and entered no plea to the charges laid against him.

Supporters of Erwood said he had no choice but to go to the scene of the crash.

Greg O'Conner, Police Association President, said that he does not condone drink driving, but these are exceptional circumstances, adding "The association will be actively advocating that the officer should keep his job."