Driver who nodded off at traffic light after drinking alcohol fined $6,600
A man who drove a car after drinking alcohol nodded off while waiting for a traffic light to turn green at around 3.30am on May 13.
Wong Kah Wee was found asleep in the driver’s seat of the stationary vehicle at the junction of Bayfront Avenue and Marina Boulevard.
He was arrested soon after and later found to have at least 72 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. This is more than double the prescribed limit of 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.
Wong, 35, was fined $6,600 on Thursday after he pleaded guilty to one count each of drink driving, and causing the car to remain at rest at the junction, likely leading to inconvenience to other road users.
He was also disqualified from holding or obtaining all classes of driving licences for three years.
In an unrelated case, Gregory Poon Zhi Ren, 25, is accused of beating a red light at a junction in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 shortly before 5am on Feb 5. His car is said to have struck a stationary vehicle soon after.
Poon was later allegedly found to have at least 73 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.
He was charged in court on Thursday with offences including drink driving and driving in a dangerous manner. His case has been adjourned to Sept 7.
Police said in a statement on Wednesday that driving under the influence of alcohol is an extremely dangerous and irresponsible act.
A police spokesman added: “All motorists are reminded to abide by traffic rules to keep the roads safe for everyone.
“The Traffic Police (TP) will not hesitate to take firm action against motorists who choose to flout traffic laws and endanger the safety of other road users.”
The number of road accidents linked to drink driving has gone up after a decline over the two years when Covid-19 restrictions largely shut the doors on nightlife activities.
TP figures showed that there were 175 drink-driving accidents in 2022, the highest since 2018 when 178 such cases were recorded. There were 155 drink-driving accidents in 2021.
Under the Road Traffic Act, which was amended in 2019, drivers who commit traffic offences including drink driving risk stiffer penalties. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs will result in a maximum of one year’s jail, a fine of up to $10,000, or both for first-time offenders. This is double the penalty from before.
Meanwhile, the number of fatal drink-driving accidents has gone up from eight cases in 2021 to 10 in 2022.
The number of people arrested for drink driving has also increased from 1,453 in 2021 to 1,685 in 2022.