Manchester City and Ivory Coast player , Yaya Toure has been handed an 18 – month driving ban and a £54 , 000 fine after he was caught driving under the influence . His blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit .
Appearing at Barkingside Magistrates ’ Court, the player did not contest the charge but insisted he wanted to make the judge aware any alcohol consumption was unintentional.
The 33 – year- old said he was at a party with friends and was drinking Diet Coke from a jug , which he later found out had brandy in it. However a judge said it was ‘ inconceivable ’ he did not know he was drinking and banned him from driving for 18 months and fined him £54 , 000 .
He was pulled over at 11 .15 pm after police thought he was exceeding the 30 mph speed limit in his £80 , 000 Audi RS 6 . Toure told the court he felt tired but did not know he was drunk.
Judge Gary Lucie said :
‘You say you were at a party and thought you were drinking Diet Coke but you accepted it tasted different to how it usually does . In fact you were drinking brandy and coke .
‘ It appears to me that whilst you may not have knowingly consumed alcohol it should have been clear to you that you were in fact drinking alcohol at some point before you took the decision to drive .
‘ The reading is a high one and it is inconceivable that you were unaware of having consumed alcohol. You were right , in my view , not to pursue any argument with regard to special reasons .’
Along with the £ 54 , 000 fine, District Judge Lucie also ordered Toure to pay a victim surcharge of £170 and costs of £ 85 .
He said :
‘I give you full credit for pleading guilty – the fine would have been £ 81 , 000 but is reduced by a full one third to £ 54 , 000 , a statutory surcharge of £ 170 and costs of £ 85 .
Toure who is a devout Muslim released a statement explaining his side of the story given that he does not drink alcohol because of his faith .
‘ Over the last two weeks there has been some confusion as to why I was charged with drink driving, as it is well known that I am a Muslim and do not drink . ‘I have always refused alcohol . Anyone who knows me or follows football will have seen me refuse champagne for Man of the Match performances because of my commitment to my religion .
‘ The matter has now been resolved in court on Monday . As I was above the permitted limit when tested on the night , I decided not to challenge the charge . However, it was important to me that I told the court that I had not intentionally consumed alcohol . The judge in his sentencing remarks accepted that I had not been intentionally drinking .
‘ Drink driving is a serious crime and even though I was not intentionally consuming alcohol I accept the ban and fine and I would like to apologise for this situation . I would also like to thank my family , the management and staff at Manchester City , my legal team and the fans for the support they have given me during this difficult time .’