Dean Saunders: Ex-footballer jailed for refusing breath test

Dean Saunders
Dean Saunders' medication "interacted" with the beer he had drunk, it was claimed in court

Ex-Liverpool striker Dean Saunders has been jailed for 10 weeks for refusing to provide a roadside breath test.

The BT Sport pundit, 55, was stopped by police on suspicion of drink-driving in Boughton, Chester, on 10 May.

Saunders, who was capped by Wales 75 times, was slurring and had to prop himself up against his Audi A8 car when he was asked to get out of the vehicle, Chester Magistrates’ Court heard.

Jailing Saunders, District Judge Nicholas Sanders called him “arrogant”.

Outside court, Conor Johnstone, defending Saunders, said his client would be appealing against the sentence as he believed it was excessive.

A bail application is expected to be made to a judge at Chester Crown Court later on Wednesday so Saunders does not have to spend time in custody before any future appeal hearings, Mr Johnstone added.

The former Derby County and Aston Villa striker, of The Paddocks, Whitegate, Cheshire, told the court he had been at Chester Races and had drunk two pints.

‘Deterrent sentence’

The court heard how at about 00:45 BST, a police patrol spotted Saunders’ car driving at speed and failing to give way at a roundabout, causing another vehicle to brake.

He was arrested for failing to provide a breath test and taken to a police station when he again refused to comply.

His lawyer suggested the alcohol might have “interacted” with the medication he takes for injury to his knees and for his asthma.

The father of three looked crestfallen when he realised he was going to jail.

“Throughout these proceedings you have shown yourself to be arrogant, thinking you are someone whose previous and current role in the public eye entitles you to be above the law,” District Judge Sanders said.

“In fact the opposite is true – someone in the public eye should expect a deterrent sentence when they flout the law.”

Saunders had initially denied failing to comply with a roadside breath test and failing to provide a sample at a police station, but later pleaded guilty.

He was also banned from driving for 30 months and ordered to pay court costs of £620.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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