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Rugby's Cipriani banned from roads for 18 months over drink-drive car crash

By Rachael Burnett

England rugby star Danny Cipriani has been convicted of drink-driving after getting behind the wheel having spent the night drinking cocktails and champagne.

The fly-half, who crashed his black Mercedes into a taxi in London at 5.15am on June 1 last year, was so drunk his eyes were "glazed", he slurred his words and could not stand straight.

The Wasps player, then with Sale Sharks, was breathalysed after the accident on Imperial Road, Fulham, and was found to have 67mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath - twice the legal limit.

Cipriani was found guilty of drink-driving yesterday following a hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court.

The 28-year-old, who earns £3,200 a week, was ordered to pay a total of £7,620 in fines and costs. He was also banned from driving for 18 months. Fines accounted for £4,500 and costs for £3,120.

Cipriani told police that he was "shocked" the breath test had come back positive, despite admitting he had drunk two espresso martinis and a glass of champagne less than an hour earlier.

His case became protracted after his lawyer, Philip Lucas, tried to get the charges dismissed, arguing there was not "sufficient" evidence that the test in the police station was working properly.

However, chief magistrate Howard Riddle ruled that there was a case to answer and found the charge proved.

He said: "I am satisfied that I am sure that the breathalyser test machine was working properly and gave a correct reading. On that basis, the verdict is guilty."

Cipriani's solicitors announced that he would appeal against the judgment.

Jeanette Miller, from Geoffrey Miller Solicitors, added: "I can confirm our intention to lodge an immediate appeal against the verdict."

Belfast Telegraph


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