Summerside police officer sentenced for refusing breathalyzer

Nancy MacPhee
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A 22-year-member of the Summerside police force was sentenced in to five days in jail for refusing to provide a breathalyzer sample after a November crash.

SUMMERSIDE — A veteran city police officer was sentenced Thursday to five days behind bars after pleading guilty to refusing a breathalyzer demand.

David Allan Murphy had been also charged with impaired driving, a charge that was stayed by the Crown after a guilty plea was entered on the charge of refusing a breathalyzer demand.  

Murphy, a 22-year-veteran and corporal with Summerside Police Services, was on leave from his job when, on Nov. 5, he was involved in a two-vehicle collision at the corner of Central Street and Pope Road.

Officers noticed signs of impairment and asked that Murphy provide a breath sample. He refused. He was asked again and refused.

Murphy ended up being taken to hospital where he stayed overnight and later entered into treatment.

The 46-year-old was on leave for post-traumatic stress disorder.

An internal investigation was launched following the incident.

In addition to jail time, Murphy is suspended from driving for 12 months.


Organizations: Prince County Hospital

Geographic location: Summerside, Central Street

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Recent comments

  • Dale McCluskey
    January 30, 2013 - 12:36

    Dave Murphy is a good and caring person who simply made an error in judgement. I worked alongside Dave and can tell you he cares about others. It is easy to throw stones when someone stumbles in life as we all do at times. I'm confident the Summerside Police Department will move forward as there are many good officers who care about those they serve, including Dave.

  • Concerned
    January 18, 2013 - 07:35

    What this Police Officer done was wrong, no excuses, he has now pleaded guilty and receives some jail time, fine and supension. Hopefully he can get the treatment required for him to deal with his addictions and health issues, done issue. If anyone wants to critize Police they should look at what happened in Summerside with the FORD case, many officers giving evasive testimony, tampering with evidence, lost evidence, all of which Judge Lantz was cery critical before dimissing the case. What was done in terms of accountability and discipline(NOTHING).Now we have their Deputy Chief Walker speeling off in the paper about a discipline procedure and all that can be done. If my memory is right he was the Sergeant in charge of the FORD case and the officer the Judge was most critical of. This department requires an independent review from outside in order for the citizens to be ensured every thing is above board. Remember the actions of Chief David Poirier in setting up the past Deputy Chief of Police with false charges, again this malicious persecution of an innocent man set out to ruin an innocent man, again no accountability for those who forged ahead with this fiasco such as Mayor Basil Stewart,then Sgt David Poirier, Ben Taylor & David Hooley( City Solicitors) at the time and past CAO Terry Murphy. Noone deserved to be treated in this manner, the past Deputy Chief of Police was a man of integrity and honesty and he sure did prove them all wrong and the bad individuals they really are. Looks good on them all. My point is David Murphy has owed up to his mistakes, what about the ones casting the shadows now, their days are all coming.

  • Broken promises?
    January 18, 2013 - 06:51

    Do some professions demand a higher standard of behaviour than others? Do politicians, teachers, clergy, doctors, and many of us wearing uniforms have different levels of responsibility than those who don't? Do the people in these professions promise to behave according to certain standards? If all professions have the same social and ethical imperatives, it's sure news to me . . .

  • A profession not for everyone
    January 17, 2013 - 15:02

    The police haters are active I see...they don't have aclue abour police work or the justice system but they can sure find fault,PTSD is a hazard of the occupation..constant negativity(from the public)unpleasant situations,dealing with the dregs of life excuse for driving under the influence ... but does have an affect on people's lives..........but again it's easier to throw stones than ......use some compassion.........

    January 17, 2013 - 13:39

    There is no cure for PTSD and adding an alcohol problem to this and the inability to make a rational judgement to not drink and drive, I urge you to contact the Chief of Police, the Mayor and your Councillor and plead that this officer gets pentioned off to prevent a bad decision in his high stress job which could cause death to a citizen or a risk to his fellow officers. Please and thank you.

  • Doc
    January 17, 2013 - 12:31

    The question I have is whether he keeps his job? This happened in Charlottetown and the cop who refused got to sit in the passenger seat for a year and kept his badge. He continues to patrol the streets? That seems wrong to me.

  • SG
    January 17, 2013 - 12:20

    NOR EASTER: Did you read the Report? (Murphy, a 22-year-veteran and corporal with Summerside Police Services, was on leave from his job) The Officer is not 22 yrs. old He Is a 22-year-veteran and Corporal with the S'Side Police Services. Also there is no AgeFactor regarding PTSD!

  • Nor easter
    January 17, 2013 - 11:53

    The article says The 46 year old was on post- traumatic stress disorder.I think the accronym is PTSD but I could be mistaking???Enlighten me, I have been wrong many times and will be many more

  • Deedee
    January 17, 2013 - 11:39

    Actually, The Guardian didn't report that his was also fined $1300 and prohibited from driving for 12 months. And he is a veteran of 22 years, not 22 years old. Not that it matters how old a person is, they can suffer from PTSD at all ages. But I am not sticking up for him because what he did was completely wrong and he should be held at a higher level of accountability.

    • actually
      January 17, 2013 - 12:20

      The Guardian reported he was suspended from driving for 12 months, also his correct age(46) and 22 year veteran. Not sure what you just read....

  • Jo
    January 17, 2013 - 11:16

    What kind of message is being sent here? If you agree to take breathalyze - 3 days behind bars, suspended from driving for one year AND $1000. fine. Guess the moral is - refuse the breathalyze, spend two extra days behind bars and save yourself a large fine!! As usual I shake my head at our justice system.

  • Mike
    January 17, 2013 - 11:15

    To Nor easter. Obviously you don't have a clue what PTSD is. There is no age when it comes to PTSD. I suggest that you google PTSD and get yourself educated on the subject before making stupid comment like this.

  • Shocking
    January 17, 2013 - 11:07

    Nothing for causing bodily harm, dangerous driving? He was smart enough for not giving a breathalizer so he could get off with impaired. What about a victim fine. Gross miscariage of justice!

  • It isnt going to stop
    January 17, 2013 - 10:57

    you would think that if someone gave an oath to uphold the law that when they broke it they would get more than a slap on the wrist like everyone else in this province for DUI. Fire this man...take his pension. he obviously doesnt give a sh*t about those people around him.

  • Mrs M J
    January 17, 2013 - 10:52

    Because one is a police officer and on leave is absolutely no reason to be out driving while under the influence. If he is a good Officer and has respect for the police service he works for, then stay at home and enjoy your couple of beers. By drinking and driving you are pitting a black mark on the whole Police Service, and show a lot of disrespect for those whom you work with. How can you stop someone and charge him when you have done the same thing yourself. The police services these days have to work to earn respect, and by doing the same thing as those whom you charge, you are a disrespect to the uniform you wear. That uniform should be worn with pride and respect.

  • cliche
    January 17, 2013 - 10:42

    As I've said hundreds of times...judges and LEO's ALWAYS get off easier with DUI. The judges are the worst...they give light sentences to set precedent so if one of them get caught, they get only a slap on the wrist.

  • Not cool
    January 17, 2013 - 10:26

    Is that all?? most people get a fine loose licience.. And we wonder why they repeat the crime!! Is it cause he was a cop or off work to get so little..

  • Nor easter
    January 17, 2013 - 10:24

    About time those guys get what the general public get. I suppose he was the law and above that was he.He is too young for PTSD, what a crock of an excuse

    • Jemmers
      January 17, 2013 - 11:13

      Nor Easter, you might want to google know, to find out what it actually is.

    • Melissa
      January 17, 2013 - 11:31

      There is no age requirement for PTSD, it's not an excuse for what he did but don't make a statement about a serious mental health issue that you have no knowledge on. Again, my statement is not about the offender it's about your ptsd comment....

    • Nor Easter What The ?
      January 17, 2013 - 12:05

      Hey Nor Easter. They said PTSD, not Alzheimers. Where did you get your facts on PTSD? No age discrimination on PTSD there Doogie Howser.

  • Donnie
    January 17, 2013 - 10:21

    Good to see this new two-tiered justice system is working out!

  • Bo MacDee
    January 17, 2013 - 10:21

    Five days eh. That ought to get soome oohs and ahhs! Let the mindless banter begin!