Farmer over limit after 30th birthday party

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court

A farmer who went to tend livestock at 5pm was more than twice the drink-drive limit from his surprise 30th birthday party the night before, a court heard.

Father-of-four James Smith Parker was spotted by police as one of his tyres was low and he was not wearing a seat belt when he pulled out in front of them.

Parker, who they discovered was not insured, then went up a back street. He got out, lit a cigarette and was unsteady on his feet. Parker blew 71 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

Parker, a stockman, has now been banned for 17 months, after admitting driving with excess alcohol on New Road, Earby and no insurance, at Burnley Magistrates’ Court.

The defendant, of Brook Street, Earby, was fined £375, with a £37 victim surcharge and £85 costs. The bench chairwoman told Parker, who had no previous convictions: “You have given yourself a criminal record. That’s a 30th birthday present I don’t think you will forget.”

Mr John Mewies, defending, said Parker had been drinking until the early hours, got a taxi home and spent most of the day in bed.

At about 5pm, he had to go to his uncle’s farm to tend some livestock, drove there without incident and was almost home when he was caught.

The solicitor continued: “He wouldn’t have dreamt of driving if he thought he was over the limit. He cooperated at the roadside and at the police station. He pleaded guilty at the very earliest opportunity.”