Drink driver blames chicken farm work

PUBLISHED: 17:37 03 August 2006 | UPDATED: 11:56 04 May 2010

FARM manager, Kevin O Callaghan, had been working round the clock to keep thousands of chickens alive in searing heat on the day he was caught drink driving, he told magistrates. I had been working 20 to 22 hours a day, trying to keep the birds alive, h

FARM manager, Kevin O'Callaghan, had been working round the clock to keep thousands of chickens alive in searing heat on the day he was caught drink driving, he told magistrates.

"I had been working 20 to 22 hours a day, trying to keep the birds alive," he explained to Ely magistrates. "That's why I drank more."

An employee of Padleys, O'Callaghan was stopped by police after they received a tip-off, claiming that he was a regular drink driver.

Officers spotted his blue Citroen car in the Red Lion car park in Soham about 7pm on July 21, and followed him along Mereside.

"At a slight left hand bend the car nearly hit the kerb," said prosecutor Raj Kanda. "When he got out of the vehicle, he was unsteady on his feet, his breath smelled of drink and his speech was a little slurred.

O'Callaghan, 51, of The Cotes, Soham, was co-operative when he gave a roadside breath test, and a later test showed a reading almost double the alcohol limit. It was 67 mcgs of alcohol in 100 mls of breath - nearlly twice the legal limit.

O'Callaghan denied he was a regular drink driver, but did admit driving his Citroen C5 when over the limit. He handed up a reference letter to the magistrates.

He was banned from driving for 16 months and fined £350 with £35 costs.

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