Everton footballer Wayne Rooney banned from driving after admitting being nearly three times the alcohol limit

Wayne Rooney, second left, outside Stockport Magistrates' Court on Monday morning.
Wayne Rooney, second left, outside Stockport Magistrates' Court on Monday morning.

Footballer Wayne Rooney been banned from driving and ordered to carry out unpaid community work after pleading guilty to drink driving.

The Everton striker and former England captain apologised for an "unforgivable lack of judgment" after he was sentenced for being nearly three times the drink drive limit on a night out while his pregnant wife and their three sons were on holiday.

He was stopped by police when driving a woman's black Volkswagen Beetle in Wilmslow, Cheshire, at 2am on September 1.

Rooney, 31, was later arrested and bailed and on Monday he appeared at Stockport Magistrates' Court where he was banned from driving for two years and ordered to perform 100 hours of unpaid work as part of a 12-month community order.

Rooney's legal team asked District Judge John Temperley to consider not imposing a community order because of his ongoing charitable work.

However the judge said he was "not convinced" that imposing a large fine "would have the same effect".

Rooney was also told to pay £85 prosecution costs and a victim surcharge for the same amount.

The court was told that a breathalyser test measured Rooney's alcohol level to be 104 microgrammes in 100 millilitres of breath.

The drink-drive limit in England and Wales is 35 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath.

In a statement issued to the Press Association after his plea, he said: "Following today's court hearing I want publicly to apologise for my unforgivable lack of judgment in driving while over the legal limit. It was completely wrong.

"I have already said sorry to my family, my manager and chairman and everyone at Everton FC.

"Now I want to apologise to all the fans and everyone else who has followed and supported me throughout my career.

"Of course I accept the sentence of the court and hope that I can make some amends through my community service."

Rooney was given a warm welcome at Old Trafford on his return to former club Manchester United on Sunday but it ended in disappointment with a 4-0 defeat for his boyhood club Everton, which he rejoined during the summer break.

Michael Rainford, defending, said his client accepted the facts of the prosecution case in full.

He said: "Upon stopping and speaking to the police officer he was fully co-operative and compliant both at the roadside and also at the police station later on, to the extent that the officers who dealt with Mr Rooney said he was the perfect gentleman.

"What I would say, through me, Wayne Rooney wishes to express his genuine remorse for what was a terrible mistake, a terrible error of judgment on his part that evening.

"He realises he has not only let himself down very badly but his family.

"He has a wife and three young children.

"Of course he has let down the fans, the young people who look up to him."

Rooney's next game for Everton is due to be Wednesday's Carabao Cup clash with Sunderland at Goodison Park.