Drink-drive judge keeps job

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The Independent Online
THE LORD Chancellor was accused of appearing to "condone" drink- driving yesterday after announcing that a judge caught driving over the limit could keep his job.

The Campaign Against Drinking and Driving (Cadd) said the Lord Chancellor's decision sent out completely the wrong message and called on Judge Victor Hall to quit.

The 51-year-old circuit judge was fined pounds 1,000 and banned from driving for 20 months earlier this week after admitting driving while nearly twice over the legal limit.

He was suspended after the hearing at Leicester magistrates' court, but yesterday the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine, said he could return to work later this month.

Maria Cape, founder of Cadd, claimed the judge should have lost his job. She said: "The Lord Chancellor seems to be condoning Judge Hall's actions by not getting rid of him."

The Lord Chancellor said he had decided not to sack the judge after taking into account his voluntary work and a number of "personal considerations". Lord Irvine said Judge Hall should not sit in any motoring cases as long as he was banned from driving.