A solicitor of more than 40 years has been fined £2,000 after driving to a police station having consumed alcohol.
In November 2017 Steven Baggott, an associate with North Lincolnshire practice Pepperells Ltd, was the on-call solicitor dealing with out-of-hours cases, when he was contacted by the police and asked to represent a client in interview.
He agreed to attend and drove to the station, but when he arrived the officers noted the smell of alcohol on his breath and, following a test, he was arrested for driving with excess alcohol.
Baggott, admitted to the roll in 1977, was disqualified from driving for 16 months and fined £440.
According to a regulatory settlement agreement notice published by the SRA, Baggott admitted that he had failed to behave in a way which maintained the trust of the public. In mitigation, Baggott said the misconduct arose because he ‘let his sense of duty override his common sense’. He took steps to minimise the effect of his actions on the client by arranging for another solicitor to attend and represent them, resulting in only a short delay.
The SRA said its agreed sanctions were appropriate because his conduct was deliberate or reckless and could not be described as trivial or justifiably inadvertent.
Baggott was also rebuked and ordered to pay £300 costs.