Page last updated at 18:24 GMT, Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Ex-Premier League star Hamann guilty of drink driving

Dietmar Hamann arriving in court in Trafford
Dietmar Hamann has been banned from driving for 16 months

Former Liverpool and Manchester City star Dietmar Hamann has been banned from driving for 16 months after being found guilty of drink driving.

Hamann, 36, was stopped by police at junction six of the M56 near his home in Styal, Cheshire, on 12 July 2009.

He was charged with drink-driving after positive breath and urine tests.

Hamann's lawyer, Jon Oultram, told Trafford magistrates police broke the rules because he was not allowed a toilet break between urine samples.

Pc Michael Connolly told the court that he witnessed Hamann's Range Rover travelling at speed and mounting a kerb three times.

"The defendant was weaving within the lane. When I stopped him I could smell alcohol on his breath," he said.

"His eyes were glazed and he was unsteady on his feet. He was obstructive and quite abusive."

Slurring speech

When Pc Connolly asked the ex-German international if he was carrying any sharp instruments, he joked that he had a knife, the court heard.

Hamann was arrested and taken to Altrincham police station, where he was slurring his speech, Pc David Trigg told the court.

The officer would not allow him to go to the toilet in case he was unable to provide a sample.

He discarded the first sample while the second was sent for analysis, as according to the rules, the court heard.

But Hamann was not allowed to visit the toilet between samples, Mr Oultram, defending, told the court.

Everyone knows how hard it is to stop when you need a wee
Dietmar Hamann

The urine sample came back positive, with a reading of 187mg per 100ml of urine; the legal limit is 107mg.

But Hamann had not been to the toilet for more than five hours so it was effectively "old urine", said Mr Oultram, of Freeman and Co, the law firm run by celebrity lawyer Nick Freeman.

Mr Hamann told the court he had drunk half a bottle of wine several hours before driving.

He said: "I just drove as I normally do. I did not slur and I was not unsteady on my feet."

The footballer said he found it difficult to hold his bladder at the police station.

"Everyone knows how hard it is to stop when you need a wee," he said.

Sentencing, Judge Mark Hadfield said he believed the samples were in fact separate, as there was a 10 minute gap between them.

"I will have to increase the ban, which would have been 12 months, because you did not plead guilty," he added.

The judge said Hamann would also have to pay £1,990 in costs.

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