Burnley FC's Dale Stephens banned from getting behind the wheel after drink driving

dale Stephens
Twelve month driving ban for Burnley's Dale Stephens Credit: PA Images

Burnley footballer Dale Stephens has been banned from driving for a year after pleading guilty to drink-driving.

Stephens, 32, of Nether Alderley in Cheshire, was stopped by police just before midnight on 14 March on Congleton Road in Alderley Edge.

Officers say they spoke to Stephens, who was driving a Range Rover, and immediately smelt alcohol on him, and his eyes looked slightly glazed.

When asked if he had been drinking, he said he had “had a pint”.

The police officer then asked him to do a roadside breath test, where he was over the limit. He was cautioned and taken to Middlewich police station.

The Burnley midfielder appeared at Stockport Magistrates' Court on Monday 4 April.

He pleaded guilty to driving over the limit and was ordered to pay £3,609 including costs, along with being given the 12 month driving ban.

Prosecutor said "Dale Stephens may have a glamorous job, but no-one is above the law". Credit: PA

Senior Crown Prosecutor Simon McDonnell said: “Dale Stephens is a premier league footballer and is no doubt looked up to by many football fans and could be considered a role model.

“Unfortunately, on the night of 14 March 2022, he chose to get behind the wheel of a car after he had been drinking more than he is legally allowed to and drive.

“The fact that there were not more serious consequences from his actions is sheer luck. He could have injured or killed someone. He also has a passenger in the car at the time.

“Drinking, even to the legal limit, impairs the driver’s ability to perform and react and is inadvisable. To get behind the wheel of a powerful car when you have drunk more than the legal limit is reckless, irresponsible, and dangerous.

“Mr Stephens may have a glamorous job, but no-one is above the law and he is now facing the consequences of what he chose to do on that night.”

Burnley FC say 'disciplinary action will be taken internally' Credit: PA

Burnley FC say disciplinary action will be taken internally and have released a statement:

"Burnley Football Club are aware of a police incident involving one of our players, Dale Stephens.

"As a football club we uphold strong values and hold all our players and staff to the highest standards.

"As such, we are treating this incident with the utmost seriousness as legal proceedings are undertaken.

"As a club, we strongly disapprove of the actions that resulted in such an incident and therefore disciplinary procedures will also be carried out internally. Burnley Football Club make no further comment."

Stephens joined Burnley in 2020 and has had an injury hit career at the club. He is out of contract in the summer.