Lawyer gets jail, fine and ban for 2nd drink driving offence

A lawyer who was caught drinking and driving a second time was jailed for two weeks, fined $4,000 and banned from driving for 42 months yesterday.

Favian Kang Kok Boon, 31, pleaded guilty to committing the offence on Oct 24 last year. His blood-alcohol level was at least 128mg per 100ml of blood, when the legal limit for driving is 80mg/100ml.

His first conviction for drink driving occurred in April 2009, when he was fined $3,000 and banned from driving for two years. He was also fined for driving without due care and attention.

In the current case, the court heard that Kang was driving home along Bukit Timah Road in his Mercedes-Benz on Oct 24 when a policeman stopped him for a spot-check at about 3.45am.

The traffic cop approached Kang, who was reeking of alcohol. His face was flushed and his eyes were bloodshot.

Kang was unable to complete a breathalyser test, claiming he was short of breath. He also told the policeman that he had asthma.

He was taken to a hospital where a blood sample was obtained some 21/2 hours later for alcohol analysis.

Investigations showed that Kang had consumed alcohol earlier when he was at Clarke Quay with two friends, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Shahla Iqbal.

In his mitigation plea, Kang's lawyer Suresh Damodara said his client had drunk more than a glass of alcohol as he had not been told beforehand that his Korean associates would be at the meeting as well, and they expected him to drink.

He said it was part of Korean business custom or etiquette to drink over networking.

Mr Damodara said his client drove home as he was feeling tired and unable to obtain a car valet service, which he had been using consistently and if he knew he would be drinking.

Kang, who was called to the Bar in 2012, had acted pro bono for underprivileged individuals in nine matters, contributing about 280 hours of his personal time, said the lawyer.

Last year, he represented an unemployed man who was sentenced to three years' jail for stabbing his neighbour after the latter splashed hot oil and water on him along a common corridor at Block 3, Jalan Bukit Merah.

The maximum penalty for a second or subsequent conviction for drink driving is a $10,000 fine and 12 months' jail.

Elena Chong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 28, 2017, with the headline 'Lawyer gets jail, fine and ban for 2nd drink driving offence'. Print Edition | Subscribe