Drink with fans leads to ban
POSH skipper Grant McCann has been banned from driving after getting behind the wheel after having drinks with fans and an offduty police officer in a city pub.
The midfielder registered 66 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath - the legal limit being 35 - after he was stopped by police in his Mercedes C250 on the A15 at Deeping Gate at 3am on Wednesday, April 25.
He was banned from driving for 18 months at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court yesterday and fined £2,000 after pleading guilty to drink driving, with his defence solicitor Andrew Cave stating the Northern Ireland international was full of remorse for his actions.
Mr Cave said Mccann (32), of Chesham Drive, Baston, admitted he had made a “huge mistake” in accepting drinks bought for him by fans as he watched the Barcelona v Chelsea Champions League semi-final with another, unnamed, Posh player.
And as a “figurehead” for Peterborough United, Mr Cave said McCann’s actions attract attention in the public arena.
He said: “Already on Twitter (that night) there was a certain entry by a police officer saying they were having a drink in the pub with Grant Mccann.
“As soon as the information is passed that he is going out to his car and thought to be drink driving, it attracts attention in the public arena.
“He had actually been at the Peterborough United ground that evening (April 24) as there was a youth presentation he attended as captain of the first team supporting younger players.
“Afterwards he went with one of his fellow players to the pub where they watched the end of the football on telly.
“Knowing he had gone out but would drive back, he only had two pints so knew he should be okay to drive.
“We should acknowledge that people and supporters in Peterborough recognise him and people come up to him offering to buy him drinks.
“In general he refuses but on this occasion he realises his biggest mistake was having a couple of extra drinks he should not have had.
“He had a couple of cokes as his last drinks and thought he was okay to drive.”
Although an off-duty police officer was drinking with Mccann just hours before he was arrested, Cambridgeshire police said it is the responsibility of the driver not to get behind the wheel while intoxicated.
Casualty reduction officer PC Steve Gedny said: “There is no excuse to get behind the wheel while over the drink-drive limit, regardless of who you are.
“Drink-driving puts the motorist and other road users at risk and we will stop and breathalyse anyone suspected of being over the limit.
“We would encourage people to call police if they suspect someone is going to drink-drive and we will act on any information we receive.”
Mccann is one of several players at Posh who have been made available for transfer this summer. He appeared at court yesterday but spoke only to confirm his details while his solicitor detailed his defence.
He led the team to promotion from League One to the Championship in 2010/11, scoring a free-kick in the Play-off Final against Huddersfield Town at Old Trafford.
He has also been capped 37 times for Northern Ireland and had stints before Posh at West Ham United, Cheltenham Town, Barnsley and Scunthorpe United.
Mr Cave said that the driving ban will have an impact upon his wife and two children, who he said are settled in the area.
He said that if he does get transferred from the club this summer, Mccann would have to either stay away from home for much of his time, or look to use public transport to get to and from his new club.
A reference from the club and manager Darren Ferguson was submitted to the court, with Mr Cave adding that Mccann has not looked for a way out of his crime.
He said: “He is extremely remorseful for what he has done. He has not looked for any loopholes and he has already appeared in the ET after apologising to the football club, his manager, team mates and supporters.
“He immediately accepted responsibility and that his actions were unacceptable, particularly for a person in his position as the figurehead of his club.
“He spends a lot of time with the youth players, looking after them using his experience as an international captain and ensuring they are not going off the rails.”
District Judge Ken Sheraton, along with the 18 month ban and the £2,000 fine, ordered Mccann to pay £85 in costs and a £15 victim surcharge. The ban can be cut to 14 months upon completion of a drink driving rehabilitation course.
driving ban: Grant Mccann.