Thal­lon cop drunk be­hind the wheel

Balonne Beacon - - NEWS -

A RE­SPECTED po­lice of­fi­cer who crashed a marked po­lice car while drinkdriv­ing on duty had at the time un­di­ag­nosed post trau­matic stress dis­or­der, Toowoomba Mag­is­trates Court has been told.

Joshua Des­mond Price had been in uni­form and drink­ing as he drove about the Thal­lon district on the af­ter­noon of Au­gust 14.

He crashed the marked Toy­ota Prado on Noon­doo/ Thal­lon Road about 3.15pm and was taken to St Ge­orge Hospi­tal. A sam­ple of blood taken from him at the hospi­tal about 6.44pm was an­a­lysed and showed he had a blood/al­co­hol level at the time of 0.225, po­lice pros­e­cu­tor Se­nior Con­sta­ble Al Wind­sor told the court.

The 32-year-old pleaded guilty to driv­ing while un­der the in­flu­ence of liquor.

As a re­sult he had been sus­pended from work with pay for two weeks be­fore be­ing sus­pended with­out pay and had not worked since. How­ever, although he would face dis­ci­plinary ac­tion by the Queens­land Po­lice Ser­vice which could in­clude his job be­ing ter­mi­nated, Se­nior Con­sta­ble Price in­tended try­ing to re­main in the force.

The pop­u­lar of­fi­cer had been nom­i­nated by the com­mu­nity and awarded an Aus­tralia Day award for his ser­vice to the com­mu­nity.

He had the night be­fore the crash at­tended a farewell night put on by the Thal­lon com­mu­nity in thanks for his three years ser­vice be­fore he was to take up a po­si­tion with Goondi­windi po­lice, the court heard.

Psy­chi­atric re­ports put be­fore the court showed the 32-year-old had since been di­ag­nosed with PTSD and other men­tal health is­sues.

Not­ing he had no his­tory of of­fend­ing, Mag­is­trate Gra­ham Lee fined Price $1750 and dis­qual­i­fied him from hold­ing or ob­tain­ing a driver’s li­cence for nine months.

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