Former Premier League striker Danny Graham admits drink driving after crashing Land Rover into shop

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Danny Graham admitted drink driving after crashing a Land Rover into the Co-op Village Store in Wynyard. Credit: North News

A former Premier League striker has admitted being almost three times the drink-drive limit when he crashed his Land Rover through a shop doorway.

Former Middlesbrough, Watford, Swansea, Sunderland and Blackburn Rovers forward Danny Graham mounted the pavement and drove through the front of the Co-op Village Store on The Granary, on the exclusive Wynyard estate where he lives, on 4 November 2022.

After he was arrested, tests at hospital showed he had a reading of 230mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. The legal limit is 80mg.

Graham, 37, appeared at Teesside Magistrates’ Court where he admitted a single charge of drink-driving.

Michael Lawson, prosecuting, said: “Luckily, no-one was injured as a result of this collision.”

Mr Lawson said the shop was extensively damaged and had to close for five days.

Stock worth more £5,000 was damaged and the total loss was estimated to be £32,000, magistrates were told.

Mr Lawson said Graham mounted the pavement and the car went into the shop by accident.

He was disqualified from driving for two years, given a 12-month community order in which he must carry out 180 hours unpaid work and given a 90-day alcohol ban, monitored by a tag.

Chairman of the bench Nigel Guerin warned him he would be jailed if he flouted the driving ban, saying: “You are a well-known person and a lot of people in Wynyard will know you. If you get behind the wheel of a car I’m sure someone will get in touch with the police.”

He said the alcohol monitoring tag would detect even if Graham had a “small glass of sherry”.

Former Sunderland player Danny Graham pleaded guilty to drink driving. Credit: PA

Choi Cheng, defending, said: “Mr Graham is very apologetic and deeply remorseful for this offence.”

He said Graham had never been arrested before, was of previous good character and Mr Cheng handed over what he said was “a most impressive set of character references” to magistrates.

Mr Cheng said: “Mr Graham, due to this unwise incident, experienced many things which he would never, ever, want to experience again.

“The offence dates back to November and he has had this worry hanging over his head for five months.”

If Graham completes a driver rehabilitation course he will have his driving ban reduced by three months.

He must also pay costs and a surcharge totalling £199.

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