England rugby player Danny Cipriani was “shocked” to discover he was over the drink-drive limit, despite having had two espresso martinis and a glass of champagne less than an hour earlier, a court heard.
The fly-half allegedly had “glazed” eyes and smelt of alcohol when he was arrested after his Mercedes collided with a taxi shortly after 5am on June 1 last year, Westminster Magistrates’ Court was told.
The Wasps player, then playing for Sale Sharks, was breathalysed and found to have 67 micrograms of alcohol per 100ml of breath - nearly twice the drink-drive limit in England and Wales of 35 micrograms.
Giving evidence, Cipriani admitted he had been out drinking and eating sushi.
But he claimed he felt “fine” and was not drunk, even after he continued drinking with a 4am breakfast.
The court heard he had two espresso martinis and a vodka cranberry at dinner, between 8.30pm and midnight.
Cipriani then went to a club for around half an hour, before going on to a friend’s house. He left at 4am to have breakfast.
“I had three hours sleep, I woke up and I felt alright,” he said.
The rugby player said he had a fry up, as well as a “small champagne flute” and two more espresso martinis, within 45 minutes, before getting a cab to his car.
Cipriani was described as looking “crestfallen” when he was arrested. His Mercedes collided with a taxi at 5.15am on Imperial Road in Fulham, west London.
Cipriani accused taxi driver Muhammad Qasim of hitting his car, which was written off as a result of the collision.
The court heard that he was allegedly “slurring”, and driving at speed before the crash.
Cipriani denies drink-driving.
Danny Cipriani looks slightly bored as he listens to an expert's evidence about the strength of champagne found in local supermarkets. 12.5%— CourtNewsUK (@CourtNewsUK) June 20, 2016
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