In a moment of shocking recklessness, former Premier League footballer Danny Graham was caught on CCTV driving his Land Rover right through a Co-op store in Teesside. The damning footage of the incident, which took place in November, paints a clear picture of the consequences of drink-driving.
Graham, 37, who is fondly remembered for his spell with clubs like Watford, Swansea, Sunderland, and Blackburn Rovers, to name a few, had earlier in the day enjoyed a round of golf followed by what he estimated to be “between five and 10 pints” with a friend. When tested post-crash, Graham’s blood-alcohol level was recorded at a staggering 230mg per 100ml – close to three times the legal limit.
The ramifications for the former striker, who has three children, were swift and severe. Pleading guilty to drink-driving at the Teesside Magistrates’ Court, he was handed a two-year driving ban and a 12-month community order mandating 180 hours of unpaid work. Further reflecting the gravity of his actions, the court slapped him with a 90-day alcohol ban, to be monitored with a tag.
Chairman of the bench, Nigel Guerin, offered a stern warning to Graham, emphasising the potential consequences of any further indiscretions. “Given your stature in Wynyard and the fact that many recognise you, it’s only logical that if you step behind the wheel again during your ban, someone will alert the police.”
The probation report vividly depicted the day’s events, highlighting Graham’s shocking estimate of his intoxication level as “eight or nine out of 10”. Despite his initial intention to opt for a taxi ride home, the reasons for his eventual decision to drive remain murky, with Graham himself claiming a lack of memory “due to either the trauma of the crash or his intoxication level”.
The financial repercussions of Graham’s actions are stark. Michael Lawson, the prosecutor, revealed that the direct damages from the crash are upwards of £5,000, while the overall loss incurred by the Co-op shop amounted to a staggering £32,000. Thankfully, and perhaps miraculously, no one was injured during this harrowing incident.
Defending Graham, Choi Cheng stated that the ex-footballer, now a self-employed sports consultant, expressed profound remorse and regret over his actions. “Due to this regrettable event, Mr Graham endured experiences he would fervently wish upon no one,” Cheng said.
On a slightly positive note for Graham, the successful completion of a driver rehabilitation course could reduce his driving ban by three months. Additionally, the court has mandated him to cover costs and a surcharge that total £199.
As the incident serves as a reminder of the devastating potential consequences of drink-driving, the hope is that such incidents can deter others from getting behind the wheel whilst over the drinking driving limit.
Watch the video here: