TWO police officers who quit their jobs after being caught drink driving have both been banned from working for any force in the country.

The first, PC Simon Hopper faced an accelerated gross misconduct hearing after he was banned from the roads for 26 months when he appeared before Teesside Magistrates’ Court in January.

The ex-Durham Constabulary officer was arrested on January 3 after he was stopped driving along the A19 near Middlesbrough in a Toyota Verso.

A breathalyser reading showed he had 111 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, which exceeded the prescribed limit which is 35 micrograms.

The officer, who lives in Eaglescliffe, was also fined £1,170 after pleading guilty to the offence when he appeared in court.

The Darlington-based officer quit ahead of an accelerated gross misconduct disciplinary hearing.

In a written ruling published on the force website, it read: “It is important that the public see that adherence to the Standards is genuine and such serious breaches or departures from those same Standards will not be tolerated.

“Similarly, the vast majority of hard working, honest and well performing officers will not recognise the behaviour demonstrated by former Officer Hopper as compatible with their work in the Constabulary.”

Chief Constable Jo Farrell ruled that the former officer would have been sacked for discreditable conduct, if he had not already resigned and placed him on the barred list held by the College of Policing.

She added: “Such conduct, whilst a serving officer, has no place in policing and the conduct undertaken whilst in the role of officer aggravates the offending rendering future employment as an officer completely inappropriate.”

In the second case, PC Jodie Smith, formerly of Cleveland Police, was also placed on the College of Policing’s barred list after she was found guilty of gross misconduct after quitting the force in disgrace.

The 25-year-old was convicted of driving with 75 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath when she appeared at Teesside Magistrates' Court - the legal limit is 35.

She was stopped as she was driving on Darlington Road, Stockton, on January 10 and appeared in court two weeks later.

The ex-officer received an 18-month driving disqualification and hit with a £300 fine after pleading guilty.

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