FORMER Sunderland player Stephane Sessegnon has been banned from driving for 20 months after admitting driving over the drink drive limit.
The West Bromwich Albion player, who was with the Black Cats at the time, also pleaded guilty to two counts of driving without a licence and driving without insurance.
Appearing at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court, the Benin international received three points on his licence and was ordered to pay a total of £7,605.
The 29-year-old was stopped by police in Newcastle on the night of Tuesday, August 27 when he was found to be more than double the drink-driving limit.
At the time of his arrest, he was playing for Sunderland AFC, who were playing a cup game against MK Dons that evening at the Stadium of Light.
Judith Williams, prosecuting, said: “At 6.35pm on August 27 officers were drawn to reports of a Range Rover driving down Westgate Road, Newcastle.
“Further checks found that the vehicle was not insured. Officers spoke to the driver and checks found he was unlicenced.
“He also failed a road side breath test.”
John Kirkham, defending, said Sessegnon had “fallen foul of a peculiar quirk” as his licence had enabled him to drive in France which he thought would allow him to drive in other EU countries.
He said: “He’s very apologetic, he had consumed some wine and then slept.
“He was going to collect his sister from Newcastle city centre.
“He is looking forward to this case being finalised today.”
During proceedings the chairman of the bench, Ann Hill, asked Sessegnon to speak up, and said: “I’m sure you speak louder on the football pitch.”
She urged him not to drive any vehicle for the duration of his ban or he might face jail.
“You must not drive any motor vehicle. You must not hire a motor vehicle, you must not borrow one,” she said.
“There’s absolutely no driving. You will put yourself in the position where you could lose your liberty.”
The second charge of having no licence related to an incident in February earlier this year.
Sessegnon was also told he had the opportunity to reduce his ban by five months if he was to complete a drink driving rehabilitation course.