Sunderland shop boss handed three-year road ban after being caught drink driving for second time in five years

A Sunderland shop boss is starting a three-year roads’ ban after being caught drink driving for a second time in five years.

Roshanthan Sivasothy, 37, drank “what he believes was just one glass of wine” after a day’s work at New World Food and Wine in Penshaw – then got behind the wheel of his wife’s BMW X5. But that was enough to put Sivasothy, who lives and works at the Wallis Street property, over the limit.

He gave a reading of 41mcg of alcohol in breath, against the legal limit of 35mcgs, when stopped in Tay Road, Thorney Close, Sunderland, on Wednesday, October 26.

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Magistrates in South Tyneside heard Sivasothy has a previous drink drive conviction from 2017 – and disqualified him afresh for three years. And they rejected an appeal by his solicitor for him to sit a ban-reducing rehabilitation course, having heard he took one after his first offence.

The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates Court.

Prosecutor Paul Anderson said: “It’s as simple as it sounds. He’s stopped by police while driving a vehicle. He’s had a drink. He’s just over the legal limit at 41mcg, and it transpires when checks are carried out, that he’s also not insured to drive this vehicle. What makes matters worse is that in 2017, he has a previous conviction for excess alcohol.”

Sivasothy pleaded guilty to drink driving and driving without insurance.

Tim Gregory, defending, said: “A ban will have a significant impact on him. He runs the store and supports a wife and two children. He relies on the business for his income and needs to be able to drive.

“He’d had a hard day in the shop and drank what he believes was just one glass of wine. He was driving a short distance but was stopped by the police.

“He accepts his guilt and accepted his guilt at the first opportunity. He also accepts that he has a 2017 conviction. He is ashamed of himself, he has let himself and his family down.

“What we have is a one-year disqualification which because of the previous conviction is a three-year ban. He thought that because he was fully comprehensive to drive his car, he could drive his wife’s, but he wasn’t insured for that vehicle.”

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Sivasothy was also fined £350, with a £140 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.