Yaya Toure’s £54,000 fine for drink-driving is believed to be the most expensive sanction ever handed out in the United Kingdom after he admitted to driving while under the influence of alcohol, even though he did not intentionally consume it.
Toure appeared in court on Monday to admit a charge of drink-driving, which saw the Manchester City midfielder given an 18-month driving ban and the hefty fine which equates to around one week of his wages.
But despite the Ivory Coast international having the salary to pay of the fine, it is believed to be the most expensive sanction handed out for drink-driving in Britain, according to The Telegraph.
Toure, who escaped a driving ban after he was clocked speeding at up to 101mph in his Porsche in December last year, was pulled over on suspicion of driving at over 30mph in Dagenham, east London, at 23:15 on 28 November. The was found to have 75 micrograms if alcohol in his breath, more than double the legal limit of 35, and appeared at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on Monday to plead guilty to the charge of drink-driving even though he is a devout Muslim and does not drink alcohol.
Toure said that he was the designated driver that night, but did not realise that the jug from which he was drinking Diet Coke from also contained brandy. He also admitted that the drink did not taste normal, but despite feeling “tired” as they left the party, he did not think he was under the influence of alcohol.
District Judge Gary Lucie accepted that Toure had not intentionally drunk alcohol, but added that it was “inconceivable” that he was completely unaware that he had been drinking.
"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 judge said, adding that he would have fined him £81,000 had it not been for his guilty plea.
"The reading is a high one and it is inconceivable that you were unaware of having consumed alcohol.”
Despite reports that Toure earns £200,000-a-week at City – making him one of the highest-paid players in the Premier League – Toure told the court that his net income is £54,000. It is understood that his salary includes performance-based bonuses, which he has not been receiving this season after Pep Guardiola refused to pick him until late last month.
Along with the hefty fine, Toure was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £170 victim surcharge. However, he agreed to undergo a drink-drive rehabilitation scheme, which will see his 18-month ban reduced by 18 weeks.
UK law states that anyone found to be in charge of a vehicle while over the legal limit can face three months’ imprisonment, up to a £2,500 fine and a ban, but there is no limit on fines to anyobe found to be driving or attempting to drive while over the legal limit.
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