Former Liverpool footballer Dietmar Hamann was so drunk behind the wheel of his car that he could not control the vehicle, a court heard today.
Hamann, 36, was stopped by police at junction six of the M56 near his home in Styal, Cheshire, at 12.15am on July 12 last year.
The ex-Germany midfielder, represented by celebrity lawyer Nick Freeman's law firm, was charged with drink driving after positive breath and urine samples.
He braked so sharply at a red light that his Range Rover 'lunged forward', Trafford Magistrates' Court heard. He appeared to be driving at excess speed and clipped the kerb three times, PC Michael Connolly told the court.
He said: 'The defendant was weaving within the lane. When I stopped him I could smell alcohol on his breath. His eyes were glazed and he was unsteady on his feet. He was obstructive and quite abusive.'
When PC Connolly asked Hamann whether he was carrying any sharp instruments, the star joked that he had a knife, the court heard.
'Yes, a knife, which is now in my car,' said the footballer, who was released by Manchester City at the end of last season. The breathalyser reading was 62mg per 100ml of breath, while the legal limit is 35mg, so he was arrested and taken to Altrincham police station.
When he arrived he was slurring his speech, PC David Trigg told the court. He said he was desperate to go to the toilet but PC Trigg told him not to as he might not have enough urine left to provide a sample.
International: Hamann (left) in action for Germany against England
The officer discarded the first sample while the second was sent for analysis, as according to the rules, the court heard. But Hamann was not allowed to empty his bladder in between the samples, his lawyer Jon Oultram told the court.
This meant the two samples were effectively the same, which is against the rules, said Mr Oultram, from Freeman and Co, the law firm famous for finding unusual technical defences.
The urine sample came back positive, with a reading of 187mg per 100ml of urine, while the legal limit is 107mg. But Hamaan had not been to the toilet for more than five hours so it was effectively 'old urine', Mr Oultram said.
Hamann, wearing a navy suit and brown leather shoes, told the court that he had drunk half a bottle of wine several hours before driving.
He said: 'I do not think it is possible to hit big kerbs without causing damage to my car. My car is a big car and there is not too much space in those lanes to weave about.
'I just drove as I normally do. I did not slur and I was not unsteady on my feet.'
The footballer said he found it difficult to hold his bladder at the police station. 'Everyone knows how hard it is to stop when you need a wee,' he said.
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