14 weeks' jail and 20-year ban for man who drank, drove and caused accident that hurt 3

A businessman drove under the influence of alcohol while on a 10-year ban and hit a car at a road junction and injured four people in 2015.
A businessman drove under the influence of alcohol while on a 10-year ban and hit a car at a road junction and injured four people in 2015. PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - A businessman drove under the influence of alcohol while on a 10-year ban and hit a car at a road junction and injured three people in 2015.

On Tuesday (Aug 2) Alvin Phua Lai Soon, 32, was sentenced to 14 weeks' jail and banned from driving for 20 years for four offences.

He had admitted driving his father's Volvo car without his consent near Block 157, Bedok South Avenue 3, at about 4.40am on March 28 last year; causing grievous hurt to the driver and passenger of a Nissan car, and a passenger seated in the back of his Volvo by doing a negligent act; driving under disqualification; and drink driving.

The accident occurred at the junction of Changi Road and Frankel Avenue.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kavita Uthrapathy said that Phua had been drinking at a pub in Clarke Quay when he met two Vietnamese women at about 2am on March 28, 2015.

He and the two women took a taxi to his home as he wanted to take them in his father's car to Geylang for supper.

His parents and younger sister were asleep when he took the car keys from the kitchen cabinet.

While travelling along Changi Road, he saw a traffic light signal showing green, but did not check to ensure that it was showing green in his direction. He drove straight into the junction and hit a Nissan car, which had the right of way.

After the accident, a policeman noticed that Phua had bloodshot eyes, flushed face and was reeking of alcohol. Phua failed a breathalyzer test.

He was arrested and found to have 56 micrograms of alcohol in 100ml of breath which exceeded the prescribed limit of 35 micrograms.

All the three people who were hurt were warded in hospital.

Phua had been fined and disqualified from driving for 60 months in 2003 and six years in 2012 for driving without a valid licence. In May 2014, he was jailed and banned from driving for 10 years for driving under disqualification and other offences.

DPP Kavita cited aggravating factors when she sought a life ban for the recalcitrant and repeat offender. She said Phua made a deliberate choice to return home, take the keys of his father's car, and drive even though he knew he did not have a licence and had consumed alcohol.

He also chose to take passengers in his car and risked their lives, she said. It was entirely fortuitous that there was no death, she added.

Pleading for leniency, Phua said he has a young son, is a business owner and the family's sole breadwinner.