'Sorry' Sugababe Singer Gets Driving Ban
Amelle Berrabah from the girl band Sugababes has been banned from driving for 14 months after admitting drink-driving.
The singer leaves court after the driving ban was handed down
The singer, 26, was "sorry" for her "exceptionally silly" actions but would find it difficult to use public transport due to media interest, her lawyer said.
James O'Brien also said it would be hard for her to carry out work commitments and charity work for hospitals and cancer research if she was banned from driving.
But District Judge Ian Baker told the pop star: "One can take an awful lot of taxis for the same cost of running such a car for a year."
Berrabah, who was arrested on September 23 at the wheel of her Mercedes, was also fined 2,000 for driving with excess alcohol.
Mr O'Brien had asked for her early guilty plea to be taken into account and pointed out she was not carrying passengers and was not driving erratically.
She was under the impression the alcohol would have passed through her system by the time she took to the wheel early in the morning, according to the lawyer.
Star's lawyers said her actions were 'exceptionally silly'Emily Maunders, prosecuting, said officers were called at 4am on Thursday September 23 after neighbours reported shouting coming from inside a flat.
Police arrived and spoke to the singer, who said she was waiting for a taxi. The car arrived, the singer got in and the officers left, the court was told.
But just over an hour later, police were sent back to the address after reports that Berrabah was driving away, it was claimed.
Officers spotted the Mercedes heading towards Camden High Street in north London, Ms Maunders said, adding police recognised the singer.
After giving a positive roadside breath test, the pop star, of Wandsworth, south-west London, was arrested and taken to a police station, the court heard.
Ms Maunders said the "lowest evidential reading" was 58mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath. The legal limit for driving is 35mg per 100 ml of breath.
Mr O'Brien, speaking at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court in London, said: "She realises this is an exceptionally silly thing to have done.
"She is exceptionally sorry for her actions. She realises it was wrong, she realises she has let herself down, and her family" Amelle Berrabah's lawyer James O'Brien
"She is exceptionally sorry for her actions. She realises it was wrong, she realises she has let herself down, and her family."
He added: "If she were to use public transport she would fear for her own safety and the safety of others."
If she completes a drink-driving rehabilitation programme by the end of June next year, the disqualification period will end on August 25 next year rather than December 8, the judge said.