Devon and Cornwall Police Constable Paul Woodward has been banned from the police after being convicted of drink driving.

Assistant Chief Constable Jim Colwell held a disciplinary hearing on November 29 and said his actions amounted to Gross Misconduct.

Mr Woodward was convicted of drink driving in June 2023 and has been dismissed without notice for breaching the standards of expected behaviours.

He will now be added to a barred list, preventing him from working in policing or other law enforcement agencies. Where he determined that the officer’s actions of breaking the law were ‘very concerning’.

On 26 March 23, this year, Woodward crashed his car and fled the scene. He pleaded guilty at Plymouth Magistrates’ Court on 28 June this year where he was disqualified from driving for 17 months and fined £890. He was also suspended following his arrest and remained so after his conviction.

In his summary A/CC Colwell said: “The above offence is a very serious matter. Getting behind the wheel of a vehicle and driving whilst unfit due to alcohol is entirely inconsistent with the expectation clearly held by the public in terms of how an officer should conduct themselves.

“This is not a case of an officer making a mistake or exercising poor judgement whilst under extreme stress or provocation whilst doing their duty. PC Woodward deliberately chose to drive his vehicle on that day knowing he was not fit to do so, choosing to commit a criminal offence in the process.”

Head of Professional Standards, Superintendent Alex Doughty, said: “This officer’s actions were in no way aligned to the conduct in which police officers and staff conduct themselves day in and day out.

“We have all seen as we go about our duty that drink driving has the potential for the most serious of consequences, and we continually educate the public on the risks of driving under the influence and other Fatal Five causes.

“I am wholly disappointed that the officer, on that day, took the actions that he did and agree with the decision made by the Chair.”