A court in the United Kingdom has ordered Manchester City midfielder and former Ivory Coast captain Yaya Toure to pay a fine of $68,000 for drinking and driving. According to the Telegraph, a Barkingside magistrates court in east London handed Toure the equivalent of a week’s wage in what is believed to be the most expensive sanction ever handed out in the country. The 33-year-old was also banned from driving for 18 months.
Court documents show that on November 28th, Toure was behind the wheel when he was pulled over by police in Dagenham for speeding. He later blew more than twice the permitted alcohol content limit during his breathalyzer.
Toure, who is a practising Muslim, says he never consumes alcohol and contends that he must have unknowingly drank Diet Coke spiked with brandy at a party with friends. He added that he neither felt inebriated or incapacitated after the drink, even though he did feel somewhat tired.
In his ruling, District Judge Gary Lucie said, “It appears to me that while 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 reading is a high one and it is inconceivable that you were unaware of having consumed alcohol.”
After the sentencing, a contrite Toure, who has only recently found his way onto the first team after being previously benched by his coach Pep Guardiola, took to his website to offer his apologies to his fans:
Over the last two weeks, there has been some confusion as to why I was charged with drunk driving, [since] it is well-known that I am a Muslim and do not drink.
As I was above the permitted limit when tested on the night, I decided not to challenge the charge. However, it was important to me that I told the court that I had not intentionally consumed alcohol.
Drunk driving is a serious crime and even though I was not intentionally consuming alcohol, I accept the ban and fine and I would like to apologize for this situation.