Cricketer Liam Plunkett given second driving ban

 

England cricketer Liam Plunkett was banned from driving for a second time today after he was caught behind wheel while more than twice over the legal limit.

The 27-year-old Durham fast bowler was driving to an all-night garage for food, having returned home from an evening out with friends, when he was stopped, Peterlee Magistrates' Court heard.

He was arrested at around 3.10am on July 28 after he was stopped on the A690 Leazes Bowl, Durham, in his Jaguar XJ.

His reading was 74mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath when the limit is 35mg.

Blair Martin, prosecuting, said police Plunkett was stopped because his headlights were not on, and officers smelled intoxicants.

He was taken to Durham City Police Station where he provided two breath samples.

"The police have noted during procedures the defendant was co-operative, (he had) red eyes, speech slightly slurred," Mr Martin said.

Magistrates were told Plunkett was convicted for drink driving in February 2007 and was banned for 20 months. Mark Haslam, defending, said: "His decision to drive was completely unjustified and completely illogical.

"He has been in this position before, he should have known better."

Plunkett had been out and returned home in a taxi with friends.

"He did everything right until somebody wanted some food. He took the decision to drive a very short distance to an all-night garage to get some food," Mr Haslam said.

Plunkett is currently injured and is not sure when he will be fit again, Mr Haslam said, and his financial circumstances were worse than in 2007 when he was playing for England and his county.

The Jaguar was loaned from a firm and will be returned.

Jeff Gray, chairman of the bench, said Plunkett would be fined £1,000 and must pay £100 costs.

He was banned from driving for 40 months, which will be reduced to 30 months if he completes a drink driving awareness course.

It will be the second time he has taken such a course, the court heard, although it has changed in the last five years.

Plunkett, originally from Middlesbrough, has played in nine Tests and 29 One Day Internationals.

The 6ft 3in player is recovering from an Achilles injury which prevents him from playing.

The bowler, of Roundhaven, Durham, was driven to court by his solicitor in a Range Rover.

PA

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