O’Keefe breaks silence on drug charge
Former television personality Andrew O’Keefe will battle allegations that he drove with methamphetamine in his system, questioning the reliability of saliva testing, a court has been told.
The former Deal or No Deal host on Tuesday returned to court where he entered a not guilty plea after allegedly failing a roadside breath test earlier this year.
The 51-year-old was driving his grey Mercedes C200 through Point Piper, in Sydney’s inner east, when he was stopped by police on January 20.
He underwent a random roadside breath test just after midnight that returned a positive result for methamphetamine, police allege.
The former television presenter was subsequently taken to Waverley Police Station for a secondary oral fluid test and his driver’s licence was suspended.
He was arrested at his home last month and was charged with driving a vehicle with an illicit drug present in blood and breaching his bail conditions.
Mr O’Keefe appeared inside Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court on Tuesday as his solicitor Sharon Ramsden entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.
He will now contest the matter at a hearing later this year, with Ms Ramsden telling the court: “The analysis is in issue.”
Outside court on Tuesday, Mr O’Keefe said he was looking forward to testing the allegations during a hearing in December.
“There are certain things that might affect the credibility of a saliva test or urine test,” Mr O’Keefe said when asked what he hoped might come out of the hearing.
Pressed on his concerns about the testing, he said: “My particular reaction to the testing.”
The Vaucluse resident was last month initially refused bail before being given conditional release after appearing in court the following day.
He was granted bail on the condition that he undergo drug and alcohol testing, not take alcohol or non-prescription drugs and undergo treatment by a psychologist or psychiatrist.
In February this year unrelated charges relating to allegations that Mr O’Keefe had choked a woman without her consent were dropped.
He is also due to face court in November when he will contest a string of unrelated charges, including two counts of common assault, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, two counts of possessing a prohibited drug and two counts of contravening an AVO.