Former Liverpool footballer Dietmar Hamann was banned from the roads today after being found guilty of drink-driving.
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.
He was so drunk behind the wheel of his Range Rover that he clipped the motorway kerb three times, Trafford Magistrates' Court in Manchester heard.
His car was 'weaving' across the lane and lunged forwards when he stopped abruptly at a red light, an officer said.
The ex-footballer, who was released by Manchester City at the end of last season, was charged with drink-driving after positive breath and urine samples.
Celebrity lawyer Nick Freeman's legal firm, which is known for its unusual technical defences, represented the German midfielder. Jon Oultram, from Freeman and Co, argued the urine specimen was 'not reliable'.
He said the two samples taken at the station were one sample, because Hamann was not allowed to empty his bladder in between. But Judge Mark Hadfield ruled the 10-minute gap between them proves they were separate.
Pc Michael Connolly told the court that Hamann was clearly drunk at the wheel and even pretended to be in possession of a blade.
International: Hamann (left) in action for Germany against England
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 wasobstructive and quite abusive. I asked him if he had any sharpinstruments and he said 'yes, a knife, which is now in my car'.'
After a positive breath test result, he was taken to Altrinchampolice station, where he appeared to be slurring his words, Pc DavidTrigg told the court. He said he was desperate to go to the toilet butPc Trigg told him not to as he might not have enough urine left toprovide the samples.
Arriving in court: Dietmar Hamann
The second specimen is always sent off for tests, and came backpositive, with a reading of 187mg per 100ml of urine, while the legallimit is 107mg, the court heard.
But Mr Oultram said Hamann was 'in mid flow and the second sample was a continuation'.
Hamann, wearing a navy suit and brown leather shoes, denied that hewas drunk behind the wheel, and said he had only had half a bottle ofwine several hours before driving.
He said: 'I do not think it is possible to hit big kerbs withoutcausing damage to my car. My car is a big car and there is not too muchspace in those lanes to weave about. I just drove as I normally do. Idid 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,' hesaid. But the star was found guilty after a one day trial and bannedfrom driving for 16 months.
Hamann will also have to pay £1990 in costs, which he was given 28days to pay. He has no regular income since being released fromManchester City, but relies on his 'significant' savings and occasionalcoaching for his former club, Liverpool, the court heard.
Hamann will have to give up his International European DrivingLicence but should have obtained an English licence a year aftersettling in this country, the judge said.
He also lost his licence in October 2007 for six months for a stringof motoring offences. He crashed his £70,000 Porsche Carrera into afence and refused to tell police who was driving, despite officerscatching him running away from the scene.
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