Group Lotus director Uday Senapati banned for drink driving


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Uday Senapati was appointed as a director at Group Lotus in 2018

A director of the sportscar firm Group Lotus has been banned from driving after he moved his car on a night out while over the legal alcohol limit.

Uday Senapati, 40, finds himself working “for a world famous motor company and not being able to drive”, Norwich magistrates heard.

The product strategy director – who joined Lotus in August – was stopped by police in Norwich last month.

He admitted drink-driving and was fined and disqualified for 12 months.

Senapati, of Nantwich, Cheshire, was stopped by police as he tried to drive his black Volvo XC60 into a car park just after 02:00 GMT on 15 February.

After giving a breath sample he was arrested and taken to Wymondham police station where he produced a reading of nearly twice the legal alcohol limit.

‘It’s not a defence’

Simon Nicholls, mitigating, said Senapati had been on a night out with friends which had gone on later than planned.

Before getting a taxi home, he decided to move his car to St Giles Street car park – which was closed – to avoid a parking ticket the next day.

“He had the best intentions – it’s good mitigation but it’s not a defence,” said Mr Nicholls. “It was more than just a few feet.”

Senapati said he drove all over the UK and overseas for Lotus – which has its headquarters at Hethel in Norfolk – and was responsible for signing off on new products.

Mr Nicholls added: “You cannot see someone who works for a world famous motor company not being able to drive. They [Lotus] seem to be able to make arrangements to keep him on.”

Senapati was fined £1,850 and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £170 victim surcharge. He will also undertake a course for drink drivers.

In January 2018 former Lotus chief executive Jean-Marc Gales was banned from driving for 30 days after being clocked at 102mph testing a new car on the A11.

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