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Gerard Depardieu banned from driving after scooter incident

Actor was three times over alcohol limit in accident last year

Published June 21, 2013

Well that was one costly scooter ride.

French actor Gerard Depardieu has been banned from driving for six months after he was found to be three times over the legal alcohol limit when he fell from his scooter last year.

The 64-year-old star of films such as Green Card and Cyrano de Bergerac was not in the Paris court on Friday hear its decision to suspend his driving licence and fine him 4,000 euros ($5,300). Drunk driving can be punishable by up to two years’ jail.

The flamboyant actor, who owns a vineyard in the Loire valley, injured his elbow but nobody else when he fell from the scooter in the capital in mid-afternoon last November.

With top roles in more than 100 movies, one of the country’s best-known actors has made the headlines on many occasions for reasons other than his film career.

The scooter fall came a few months after a car driver filed a suit against Depardieu for assault and battery following an altercation in Paris.

He criticised the left-wing government last year over high taxes and took President Vladimir Putin up on an offer of a Russian passport.

Russia has a flat tax rate of 13 per cent on income, compared with more than 40 per cent in France where the government plans a supertax of 75 per cent on incomes above 1 million euros.

Commenting on Friday’s court ruling, Depardieu’s lawyer, Eric de Caumont, said: “Naturally we are disappointed to the extent that we had sought an acquittal.”

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