A TAKEAWAY owner who ‘very rarely drinks’ was caught driving over the limit after taking shots with friends.

Police were following a BMW being driven from St Bees by Muhammad Chowdhury, 44, on January 2, Workington Magistrates’ Court heard.

Pamela Fee, prosecuting, said the vehicle was driving slowly towards the centre of the carriageway.

Chowdhury was pulled over on the A595 Distington bypass and was spoken to about the manner of his driving. He said he had drunk about an hour ago.

The defendant was breathalysed and was over the limit. He gave a reading of 40mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath at the police station. The legal limit to drive is 35mcg.

Chowdhury, of Fisher Street, Workington, pleaded guilty to driving with alcohol level above the limit.

John Cooper, defending, said: “It’s 40mcg and over for prosecution. If it had been another 30 minutes before he had driven, he probably would have been under the limit.

“He had friends who had come up to visit. He had been offered a couple of shots. He thought it was Sourz but turns out it was something stronger.

“I don’t think it’s significantly bad driving. He’s crossed the line on the dual carriageway.

“He runs a takeaway in Egremont. He has a wife who can help sometimes with the business but she speaks no English.

“He is the only man of the family who can drive. He’s not sure how it’s going to affect the business.

“The takeaway finishes at 11pm. There’s no public transport back to Workington at that time.

“He is quite upset about having to appear here. He wishes he had waited longer. He very, very rarely drinks.”

Magistrates disqualified Chowdhury from driving for 12 months, to be reduced by 12 weeks, if he completes the drink-drivers’ rehabilitation course.

He was fined £305 and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £122 victim surcharge.