Decorated cop faces drink-driving charge

An award-winning police officer has been stood down after allegations of drink-driving while more than double the legal limit.

Constable Marsden Wayne McCarthy, 35, was allegedly driving down Wymondley Rd in Otara on October 23 when he was stopped by police.

According to court documents McCarthy blew a reading of 1053 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath. The legal limit is 400 but it is about to be reduced after the Cabinet last month approved a lower limit.

The change would see the equivalent blood alcohol reading of 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood cut to 50mg.

Counties Manukau District Superintendent John Tims confirmed an officer had appeared before the courts facing an excess breath alcohol charge.

"This member has been stood down and will also face an employment investigation," he said. "New Zealand Police and the community have high expectations of police officers and have zero tolerance for those who drink and drive."

It could be a significant fall from grace for McCarthy, who was given a district commander's award in 2009 after he and three others followed up a seemingly minor incident that removed $500,000 of drugs from the street.

The officers were alerted to a burglary by a witness who saw a couple remove a cupboard door and framing from in Flat Bush.

After tracking the offenders to a Manurewa property a search found almost 2000 discarded packets of pseudoephedrine and 10,000 capsules - enough to make $500,000 worth of methamphetamine.

They also found a burner and pipe used for smoking P, guns, ammunition and $35,000 cash.

The charge against McCarthy comes on the back of a recent move to improve road safety.

Police announced today would mark the start of a two-month period when a reduced 4kmh speed threshold would be "strictly enforced".

Sunday Star Times