Grantham court: Shopkeeper loses driving licence

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A shopkeeper who refused to do a breathalyser test at Grantham police station has been disqualifed from driving for 18 months.

On November 9 police received information that a man had been seen getting into an Audi parked outside the RaRa club who they suspected was drunk.

They stopped the car and spoke to the driver, 39-year-old Gianinder Singh of Bellwood Gardens.

Officers reported that Singh was unsteady on his feet and smelt strongly of alcohol.

Initially he co-operated by giving a roadside reading of 103 alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, nearly three times the legal limit.

However on being taken to the police station Singh refused to give another reading, despite being repeatedly told that he could be charged with failure to provide a specimen of breath.

Representing Singh, Sonia Bhalla told magistrates that her client was a shopkeeper on Market Place, who had gone into the RaRa club to see a friend because the burglar alarm was going off and he wanted to see what had happened.

Singh was then driving his friend home when he was pulled over, and said that once at the police station he panicked.

Miss Bhalla added that later while in the cell Singh did push the alarm button to say he was willing to do the test, but by that point it was too late.

She detailed that a disqualification would have a detrimental impact because Singh needed to pick up stock for the shop and moreover as his wife doesn’t drive it was him who took their two children to school.

Singh was disqualified for 18 months with the opportunity to reduce this by 18 weeks through completion of a drink driver’s rehabilitation course.

He was also fined £400 which he must pay on top of a £40 victim surcharge and prosecution costs of £85.