Det. Barbra Martin had vodka and beer in her purse when she was pulled over

Elgin County Courthouse in St. Thomas. (Derek Ruttan/The London Free Press)

London police Det. Barbra Martin removed a bottle of vodka and a can of beer from her purse while retrieving her driver’s licence after being pulled over in Aylmer for speeding.

Another open can of beer had spilled on the floor of her vehicle.

Those details were heard Tuesday in a St. Thomas courtroom, where the veteran London officer pleaded guilty to drunk driving.

Martin, 40, was fined $1,200 and had her driver’s licence suspended for one year under a joint submission by assistant Crown attorney Stephanie Venne and defence lawyer Lucas O’Hara.

Elgin OPP had notified their counterparts in Aylmer after observing a speeding vehicle — it was going too fast to catch up with — travelling north on Imperial Road, north of Aylmer, around 11:30 p.m. on Oct. 14, the court heard.

Aylmer police pulled over Martin, who was hesitant to produce her driver’s licence, ownership and proof of insurance, Venne told the court.

“She initially provides a plastic card, which was not her licence, then she provides her documents,” Venne said.

“She provides the documents after removing a bottle of vodka and a can of beer from her purse and putting them on the floor behind the driver seat,” Venne said, noting another open can of beer had spilled onto the vehicle’s floor.

An officer who pulled her over could smell alcohol on the breath of Martin, who admitted drinking three or four beers, the court heard.

Police arrested Martin after she failed a roadside test. She was taken back to the Aylmer police station, where she provided two breath samples, registering a blood alcohol content of 0.2 and 0.21 — well over the legal limit of 0.08, the court heard. Martin was charged with driving with more than 80 mg of alcohol in blood and released on a promise to appear in court.

London police reassigned Martin, a 19-year service member and investigator with the major crimes unit, to administrative duties after she was charged.

Martin remains on administrative duties, Const. Sandasha Bough said Tuesday.

“We’re unable to speak to . . . a result of court proceedings, however we can advise that as with any criminal investigation involving an officer, there will be a Police Services Act investigation to follow,” Bough said in an emailed statement.

The Police Services Act is the law governing policing in Ontario and under which police forces hold disciplinary hearings into professional misconduct. A conviction under the act carries penalties ranging from docked pay and suspension without pay to demotion or termination.

Source: London Free Press