Gascoigne avoids jail for drink-driving

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LONDON - Former England international Paul Gascoigne avoided jail on Thursday despite being caught driving while more than four times over the legal alcohol limit.

The 43-year-old was given an eight-week sentence, suspended for a year, when he appeared at Newcastle Magistrates' Court, having been arrested after driving erratically.

Gascoigne, who has experienced regular alcohol-related problems since retiring from the game, was also banned from driving for three years and given an alcohol treatment order, the Press Association reported.

The former Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Lazio, Rangers, Middlesbrough and Everton midfielder admitted drink-driving at a hearing in October and was warned that he could be jailed.

He was due to be sentenced last month but failed to appear as he had checked himself into a rehabilitation clinic.

A separate drink-drive charge, which Gascoigne denies, will be heard next week at Northallerton Magistrates' Court.