Wayne Rooney's intoxication arrest due to 'sleeping tablet disorientation'

Left, Loudoun County Sheriff's Office handout photo of former England footballer Wayne Rooney, and right, Rooney in his final England appearance
Left, Loudoun County Sheriff's Office handout photo of former England footballer Wayne Rooney, and right, Rooney in his final England appearance

Wayne Rooney has said his public intoxication arrest came when he was left "disorientated" by prescribed sleeping tablets he took on a flight while drinking.

It emerged on Sunday that the former Manchester United and England captain was taken into custody in the US after a flight from Saudi Arabia touched down.

The 33-year-old was arrested on December 16 at Washington's Dulles airport, near the stadium for his current team, DC United.

In a statement to the Press Association, his spokesman said the footballer was apprehended after a lengthy flight from the Gulf state where he was on a one-day business trip.

"During the flight Wayne took a prescribed amount of sleeping tablets mixed with some alcohol consumption and consequently was disorientated on arrival. He was approached by police who arrested him on a minor misdemeanour charge," the spokesman said.

"He received a statutory automatic fine and was released shortly afterwards at the airport. The matter is now at an end.

"Wayne would like to put on record his appreciation for the manner he was treated by all involved."

Rooney, who is still banned from driving in the UK after he was caught drink-driving, was held in a cell in Virginia and fined.

A spokesman for Loudoun County Sheriff's Office said it followed "a charge of public intoxication stemming from an arrest by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police".

Court files state he paid a fine of 25 US dollars (£19.65) and costs of 91 dollars (£71.50) over his latest offence.

Two days before the arrest he posted an image online of himself in a car at the Riyadh Formula E championship race in Saudi Arabia.

Rooney, in September 2017, admitted drink-driving on a night out when he was caught driving a woman's Volkswagen Beetle when nearly three times the legal limit.

He was banned from driving for two years and ordered to carry out unpaid work in the community.

After a return to Everton, he transferred to DC United and made his debut on July 14 last year.

"We understand the media's interest in this matter but we believe this is a private matter for Wayne that DC United will handle internally," the current team said.