Drink-drive Cliviger farmer five times over limit

Burnley Magistrates' Court.
Burnley Magistrates' Court.

A farmer found to be around five times over the legal drink-drive limit was told by magistrates his breath test reading was “literally off the scale”.

Chairman of the Bench at Burnley Magistrates’ Court Mr Paul Wright told defendant Adam Whittle (44) he had committed a very serious offence, saying: “You will be disqualified from driving but we just need to determine how long for as guidelines for sentencing only go up to a reading of 150 micrograms”.

Whittle (44) was arrested by police at the wheel of his Land Rover at his Cliviger home after his erratic driving was reported by a passenger in another car on Friday, January 2nd. He was breathalysed and the reading showed he had 161 micrograms of alcohol in 100ml of breath, the legal limit is 35.

Prosecutor Miss Charlotte Crane said Whittle was found slumped at the wheel of his vehicle outside his home, Jumb Hole Farm in Burnley Road.

Miss Crane told the hearing: “The defendant was spotted by a witness in an area known as Portsmouth which is inbetween Todmorden and Cliviger.

“The witness was a passenger in a car that was in a lay-by. The passenger noticed the green Land Rover as it appeared to be driving rather slowly at around 25 mph which is unusual for this stretch of road. The car the witness was in followed the Land Rover and watched it move to the wrong side of the road across the white lines a couple of times and also stop at temporary traffic lights when they were on green.”

The witness watched Whittle drive his vehicle past the Ram Inn pub and down a dirt track towards his home before she stopped and rang the police.

Miss Crane added: “The witness pointed out it was late afternoon and the road was fairly quiet but there would definitely have been a serious accident if another car had been coming in the opposite direction.”

Mr David Leach (defending) said, on the day, Whittle had been to work but had a couple of drinks in a pub and also drunk some whisky.

Mr Leach said: “He is genuinely remorseful for what happened and has referred himself to Inspire, the substance misuse project.”

Whittle admitted driving a motor vehicle when his alcohol level was above the limit. Magistrates adjourned the case a pre-sentence report to be prepared.