25 Feb 2010

Church leader resigns over drink-driving charge

8:58 pm on 25 February 2010

The head of the Protestant church in Germany, Margot Kaessmann, has resigned after being charged with drink-driving at the weekend.

Bishop Kaessmann, 51, a divorced mother of four, was charged with passing a red light while three times over the legal limit.

According to prosecutors, she was "completely unfit to drive" when she was stopped in her Volkswagen Phaeton in Hanover on Saturday.

She faces a fine of a month's salary and a one-year driving ban.

Bishop Kaessmann has been dubbed the "popstar of Protestantism" by Spiegel magazine.

The BBC reports she was appointed to lead the 25 million-strong Lutheran Church six months ago.

She also made the news recently by calling for the withdrawal of German troops from Afghanistan.