A POLICE officer who admitted drinking and driving escaped a ban after magistrates accepted his soft drinks had been laced with vodka.
Magistrates at Wakefield heard Insp Neil Thompson – who is based at Weetwood, Leeds – is allergic to the spirit.
Thompson told the court: “I looked in the mirror, it looked like a Bo Selecta face, everything was swollen up.”
Police stopped 51-year-old Thompson’s Ford Escort after he drove out of the New Scarborough pub on Alverthorpe Road, Wakefield just before 2.30am on Sunday February 17. Thompson, of Lady Close, Ossett, gave a breath test which revealed he was almost the double the drink drive limit. Thompson said he had drunk one pint of lager and one pint of cider since going out at around 8.30pm on the Saturday night.
Magistrates were told he had spent around one-and-a-half-hours at the former Snapethorpe Club in Wakefield, where he had drunk up to six pints of orange and soda water.
Mr Lee said Thompson had agreed to go in to Wakefield drinking later that night, but did not.
Ex-Snapethorpe Club bar steward Terry Lee said he “free poured” his own personal vodka in to “four or five” of Thompson’s soft drinks, without his knowledge.
Mr Lee said he confessed after discovering Thompson had ben arrested, adding: “I could have not told him, but I felt bad that he had got himself in that situation through me.” Bench chairman Roger Grasby told Thompson: “You have pleaded guilty to driving over the prescribed limit. We have accepted an argument of special reasons. For that offence you are going to be given an absolute discharge.” Thompson was also awarded £700 towards his defence costs. A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “We respect the decision of the court. We will now consider the full circumstances of this matter in relation to any internal disciplinary matters.”