Police officer sacked after turning up for duty 'double the drink-drive limit'

PC Jason McGuinness arrived at his shift for the British Transport Police six times over the level police officers are allowed.

British Transport Police Officer, BTP, from the back next to a police cordon in Manchester.
PC Jason McGuinness (not pictured) arrived at his shift six times over the level police officers are allowed. (Getty Images)

A British Transport Police officer has been sacked after he turned up to work more than double the drink-drive limit.

PC Jason McGuinness arrived at his shift six times over the level police officers are allowed to have in their system when at work.

The frontline response officer was expected to attend "life and death situations" but "put the public at risk" by turning up to work drunk, the force said.

An accelerated misconduct hearing has formally dismissed the London-based officer with immediate effect.

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On 3 October last year, the day of the gross misconduct, concerns were raised about McGuiness's state and he was breathalysed.

He blew 0.078 per cent and 0.081 per cent of blood alcohol, far above the driving limit of 0.035 per cent and the police limit of 0.013 per cent.

A British Transport Police spokesperson said 0.013 per cent blood alcohol, known as the prescribed limit, is "recognised in rail and police regulations as impairing the ability to operate safely in a critical environment”.

Though McGuinness previously stated he had faced “upheaval in his personal life” he did not explain why he turned up for duty intoxicated on that day.

Gross misconduct was found because the officer, who joined the force in 2016, breached orders and instructions, fitness for duty, and committed discreditable conduct.

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During the hearing, chief constable Lucy D’Orsi of British Transport Police said she had "very considerable sympathy" with McGuinness's personal circumstances, but there was no evidence to suggest he wouldn’t do it again.

Though he didn’t turn up to the hearing and was not represented, he submitted the personal details in a written response to the misconduct allegations.

D’Orsi said: "There was no evidence relied on by the officer to suggest that he has committed to addressing the behaviour which led to these disciplinary proceedings.

"I could therefore have no confidence that, were the officer to continue serving, the same problem would not reoccur.

"Taking all the above into account, I considered that the only appropriate outcome in this case was dismissal without notice."

She added after the hearing: "In making the decision to report for duty in an unfit state due to excess alcohol, he put himself, his colleagues, and the public at risk.

"This was a serious breach of our standards and values at BTP. It is not acceptable for officers to betray the trust of the public or their colleagues."