Cop writes off wife’s drink driving charge
A Townsville police officer has been slapped with a fine for failing to charge his wife with drink driving at a crash.
Benjamin Stewart Shannon, 28, used a breathalyser in "training mode" and failed to charge his wife with drink driving in September last year when she blew nearly three times over the legal limit.
Townsville Magistrates Court heard how Shannon was working at Kirwan Station when his then-wife called him by a roadside at Mount Louisa, ABC North Queensland reported.
The senior constable drove to the scene with a colleague and conducted the breath test while the other officer waited in the police car.
Police prosecutor Mark Fenlon said Shannon botched the breath test and used it in "training mode" which made a reading harder to process.
The woman later recorded a blood alcohol reading of 0.14.
Shannon pleaded guilty at court on Tuesday to one count of refusal by a public officer to perform his duty.
"What the officer has done here represents a significant conflict of interest and more is expected from a police officer," Mr Fenlon said.
"He effectively undertook the equivalent of an investigation into what happened, and to use the vernacular, the incident was written off."
Defence lawyer Steve Zillman told the court his client did not try and hide her breath test results, saying Shannon told his colleague "she's f---ing pissed and she's crashed the car".
Shannon was stood down from his position and was subject to an internal review.
He had been suffering mental health issues and was humiliated by the attention his crimes had attracted.
Magistrate Cathy Wadley said Shannon should have left the job to his colleague.
"No one is exempt from being testing at the roadside," she said.
Shannon was fined $2500 and no convictions were recorded.
Originally published as Cop writes off wife's drink driving charge