Bendigo Senior Constable faces sack over drink driving

A BENDIGO Senior Constable who was drink driving when he crashed into the front of a hotel is likely to be stood down from the police force.

Dean Robinson, 43, pleaded guilty yesterday to drink driving and driving in a dangerous manner, as well as failing to stop at the scene of an accident.

Robinson was driving home on November 17, 2011, when he smashed into the alfresco dining area of the Queens Arms Hotel.

No-one was injured in the incident and Robinson fled the scene and continued to drive home.

Police later attended his house and conducted a breath test that found he had a blood alcohol reading of 0.111 – more than twice the legal limit.

Robinson’s licence was disqualified in June 2012 and he was suspended as a police officer pending an investigation by the Victoria Police Professional Standards Command.

In the Bendigo Magistrates Court yesterday, Robinson was fined $7000 and had his license disqualified for 11 months.

Magistrate Richard Wright said the culture of drink driving within the police force was changing.

“He (Robinson) has, in the colloquial language, had a skinful and got into a car and drove home,” MrWright said. 

“In the past this was the standard way of operating by members of the Victorian Police Force. That culture has changed.”

Robinson admitted he had been drinking heavily at the Foundry Hotel on the day he decided to drive home and said he felt remorse over his “stupid decision”.

Defence lawyer Mark Gumbleton said his client would most likely lose his job as a police officer.

He said Robinson had been in the police force since 2005 and the “tragedy was that Victoria Police would lose a very good police officer”.

Supporting Robinson in court were a number of his relatives and senior members of the Bendigo police force.

Magistrate Wright said the sentencing highlighted the serious consequences of drink driving.

“This sends a message to the community generally and a warning to others about the downside of drink driving,” he said.

“At the end of the day you (Robinson) were in a position of trust and authority... You made an error.”

A police media spokeswoman said disciplinary actions and a review into Robinson’s future would be conducted by the Professional Standards Command.

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