Will Former MP Chan Soo Sen’s Drink-Driving Ban Sober Singapore?

Singapore was again reminded of the problem of drink driving last month, when former Member of Parliament Chan Soo Sen was fined S$2,000 and handed a 12-month driving ban for being over the limit on July 13 this year.

Legal Limit: 35ug Per 100ml of Breath

A police spot check on Cantonment Road found Chan Soo Sen to be over the limit. Officers said he smelled strongly of alcohol, and gave him a breath-test resulting in a reading of 50 microgrammes per 100mls of breath – well over the legal limit of 35 microgrammes/100ml.

Following his sentencing at court, Chan told media that he had just attended a charity function, at which he drunk red wine.

Chan decided to drive to the event as he had difficulty finding a taxi. After the function Chan said he forgot to request that a valet drive him home. The traffic offence was Chan’s first, which he told reporters,

“was totally not intended at all, I made a wrong decision of driving there… it was due to my carelessness.”

The former MP, who was the head of various ministries between 2001 and 2006, could have been given a penalty of up to S$5,000 or a prison sentence of up to six months.

The incident is a reminder of how drink driving can be a problem in all parts of Singapore society, and of how serious the offence is. No-one was injured or killed in the incident, but this is sadly not always the case.

Young National Serviceman Killed

Full-time national serviceman Muhammad Noor Azhar Abu Bakar was killed while riding his motorcycle in August 2011 by Gary Chan Chee Meng, who failed to stop his car in time when making a turn into Coleman Street. Muhammad Noor Azhar Abu Bakar, whose pillion rider was badly injured in the incident, had right of way. Gary Chan Chee Meng, a bank executive, was found to have 42ug of alcohol per 100mls of blood. On July 22nd 2013 Chee Meng was sentenced to 2 weeks in jail, and disqualified from driving for four years.

drink driving kills
If you drink, do not drive

Drink Driving Destroys Lives

This incident is an even starker reminder of how perilous it is to drive with alcohol in your body. It can destroy lives in an instant, and cause misery to victims’ relatives. It can also result in huge guilt and anguish for the driver responsible, not least if their own passengers – perhaps loved ones – were hurt in the incident.

Alcohol and Driving Never Mix

Because of our position as a car insurer serving Singapore’s motorists, at DirectAsia.com we are only too aware of the damage drink driving can do. In a bid to increase awareness of the dangers, in 2011 we enlisted the help of Adrian Pang to feature in a video about drink-driving. You can catch it again below. It’s a simple reminder that if you drink, do not drive. The risks are simply too great.

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