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Footballer Mikel handed driving ban

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Chelsea footballer John Obi Mikel has been banned from driving for 15 months after admitting to being almost twice the legal drink-drive limit.

Mr Mikel, 21, who is likely to face increased car insurance premiums following the ban, was also ordered to pay £1,580 at West London Magistrates' Court.

His solicitor said he would not undertake a drink-driving course to shorten the ban because he "would just like to serve it out".

The court heard that Mr Mikel had been out to dinner and drunk between four and five glasses of wine after watching his team play at home ground Stamford Bridge.

Prosecutor Fubhanur Chowdhury said he was stopped in his black Range Roger in Fulham Road, west London, on January 24 by a police patrol after officers saw him driving "at speed" and thought it was "suspicious".

He said: "Mr Mikel was stopped at 5.15am in the early morning in Fulham.

"They could smell alcohol on his breath. There were three attempts to provide a sample and the result was positive. He was arrested and taken to Fulham Police Station."

Mr Mikel was found to have 66 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, the court heard. This is nearly twice the legal limit of 35 micrograms.

© Press Association 2009