Drink driving case 1

Zouk founder jailed for a week, gets three-year driving ban

Lincoln Cheng, 70, ran two red lights before hitting a taxi on Feb 15. He admitted to having two glasses of red wine during dinner before driving home. He is appealing against the sentence.
Lincoln Cheng, 70, ran two red lights before hitting a taxi on Feb 15. He admitted to having two glasses of red wine during dinner before driving home. He is appealing against the sentence.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

The founder of iconic nightspot Zouk, Lincoln Cheng, who got behind the wheel of his car after drinking wine and ran two red lights before colliding with a cab, was yesterday sentenced to a week in jail.

Cheng, 70, whose statutory name is Ching Ling Ka, was also banned from driving for three years.

He is appealing against the sentence, his lawyer Kesavan Nair told the district court.

Cheng was given bail of $15,000 pending appeal. He was also allowed to travel with his family to Germany, Italy, Brazil, Argentina, Antarctica and Britain between Nov 24 and Dec 27.

He had pleaded guilty to one count of drink driving last month. One count of dangerous driving was taken into consideration during sentencing.

He admitted he had two glasses of red wine during dinner at Ion Orchard on Feb 15 before getting behind the wheel to head home.

While driving along Eu Tong Sen Street at around midnight, he ran a red light at the T-junction by Pearl's Hill Terrace.

At the T-junction by Kreta Ayer Road, he again ran a red light.

Cheng was given bail of $15,000 pending appeal. He was also allowed to travel with his family to Germany, Italy, Brazil, Argentina, Antarctica and Britain between Nov 24 and Dec 27.

His car then collided with the left side of an SMRT taxi, which mounted a kerb before hitting a metal pole supporting a sheltered walkway.

The traffic lights were in the favour of cabby Sydney Baylon John, 71, who was making a right turn into Eu Tong Sen Street from Kreta Ayer Road.

Cheng was arrested at the scene after failing a breathalyser test.

He was taken to the Traffic Police Department for another test, which found he had 43 micrograms (mcg) of alcohol in every 100ml of breath. The prescribed limit for driving is 35mcg.

The prosecution had sought a week in jail and a three-year driving ban for Cheng. The defence pleaded for a day in jail or a maximum fine of $5,000.

Cheng has made full restitution of almost $21,000 to SMRT for the cost of repairing the taxi.

Zouk was sold to casino and cruise-line conglomerate Genting Hong Kong in 2015.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 23, 2017, with the headline 'Zouk founder jailed for a week, gets three-year driving ban'. Print Edition | Subscribe