An Indian-origin senior government lawyer in Singapore was on Friday banned from driving for one year and fined SGD 1,600 (Rs 80,396) for drink driving. Admitting that he had an alcoholic cocktail at a pub before heading home, 39-year-old Jeyendran Jeyapal said it was his first offence and pleaded for minimum punishment in the court. Jeyapal, a deputy senior state counsel in Singapore’s Attorney-General’s Chambers, also said he had been cooperative with police officers when stopped, the Channel News Asia reported.
The lawyer was stopped by a traffic police officer at a road block along Second Hospital Avenue at around 4:50 am on February 11 this year. The officer noticed that Jeyapal had “alcoholic breath” following which a breathalyser test was done in which he failed. Jeyapal was then taken to the Traffic Police Division where it was revealed that he had 48 mg of alcohol in every 100 ml of breath, which exceeded the limit of 35mg, deputy public prosecutor Bhajanvir Singh told the court and said he leave the sentencing up to the judge. In his defence, Jeyendran said he was celebrating a friend’s birthday and took the alcohol offered by him so as not to disappoint him.
The District Judge, Victor Yeo, said he “was not entirely persuaded” by the argument. “In my view, he could have declined the drink,” the judge said. However, noting that Jeyapal was not doing any other traffic offence like speeding or driving dangerously, the judge imposed a fine of SGD 1,600 on him and put a ban on his driving for one year. Under Singaporean law, drink driving for the first time could attract a jail term for up to six months or a fine between SGD 1,000 and SGD 5,000.