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Danny Cipriani guilty of drinking and driving

Danny Cipriani Image copyright PA
Image caption The Wasps fly-half was banned from driving for 18 months

England rugby star Danny Cipriani has been found guilty of drinking and driving after his Mercedes crashed into a minicab following a night out.

Westminster Magistrates' Court heard the Wasps fly-half was so drunk his eyes were "glazed" after the smash on Imperial Road, Fulham on 1 June 2015.

The 28-year-old was found to be nearly twice the drink-drive limit.

He was ordered to pay a total of £7,620 in fines and costs and banned from driving for 18 months.

Cipriani had admitted drinking two espresso martinis and a glass of champagne less than an hour before he was arrested, but claimed he was "shocked" when he was told he was over the limit.

His lawyer had tried to get the charge dismissed, claiming there was not "sufficient" evidence as the breathalyser was not working properly.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Danny Cipriani had been out celebrating with other England rugby players before the crash

But Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle said he was "satisfied" the machine had given a "correct reading".

"There is ample evidence from independent witnesses that Mr Cipriani showed signs of being affected by alcohol," he said.

Solicitors for the player, who was at Sale Sharks at the time, said they would launch an appeal.

"Mr Cipriani maintains his innocence and has always disputed being the cause of an accident," they said.

Cipriani, of Raynes Park, had been celebrating with other players in Chelsea after an England XV thrashed the Barbarians on 1 May.

He was found to have 67 micrograms of alcohol per 100ml of breath when his car collided with a taxi and he was arrested.

The legal limit to drive in England and Wales is 35 micrograms.

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