Behind wheel after 12 glasses of beer

Motorist who fatally hit Certis Cisco officer directing traffic gets 1½ years' jail and 10-year driving ban

Manuel Ang Boon Jiat, 29, had consumed at least 12 glasses of beer before getting behind the wheel of his car in February.

The Malaysian was also speeding when he hit on-duty Certis Cisco auxiliary police officer, Lance Corporal Norman Samri, 33, who later died of multiple injuries.

Ang, who was a full-time salesman in Singapore when he committed the offence, was yesterday jailed for 1½ years and disqualified from driving here for 10 years. He had pleaded guilty to committing a rash act, resulting in the fatal accident.

The court heard that shortly before the incident, Lance Cpl Norman and two colleagues were diverting traffic at the Tuas Checkpoint Departure Viaduct after a minor accident there around 1am on Feb 10.

All three were wearing bright-yellow reflective vests with blinker lights placed on their shoulders.

At around 2.30am, Ang, who lives in Johor Baru, drove towards them from Ayer Rajah Expressway. He was on the way home after a night of merrymaking.

The three Certis Cisco officers tried to signal for him to stop but it was too late. The car hit Lance Cpl Norman who was then standing in the centre lane of the three-lane road. He was flung upwards before landing near a concrete barrier on the extreme right lane. The other two Certis Cisco officers managed to jump out of the way.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Krystle Chiang said Ang was driving at an estimated average speed of 102kmh when he swerved and hit the victim. The prescribed speed limit was 50kmh.

An ambulance took Lance Cpl Norman to the National University Hospital and he was pronounced dead about an hour later.

A traffic police officer who conducted a breathalyser test on Ang found he had 66 micrograms (mcg) of alcohol in every 100ml of breath. The prescribed limit is 35mcg.

Before handing out the sentence, District Judge Kenneth Yap said this case involved a "double whammy" of drink driving and speeding.

He added that a strong message must be sent to deter others from committing a similar offence.

For committing the rash act, Ang could have been jailed for up to five years and fined.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 17, 2017, with the headline 'Behind wheel after 12 glasses of beer'. Print Edition | Subscribe