Drunk man who drove ambulance before crashing it on SLE gets 2 years' jail, 10-year driving ban

SINGAPORE - With more than twice the legal limit of alcohol in his blood, a 27-year-old man took a joyride in his employer's private ambulance for about an hour before crashing it on the Seletar Expressway (SLE).

His passenger, who had also been drinking in the vehicle, suffered fractured ribs as a result of the accident in 2020.

When the police arrived, G. Mohanavarooman Gopal Oyyappan showed no concern for his passenger, who was screaming in pain, and told her to lie that she was the one at the wheel.

Mohan, now 27, was sentenced on Monday to two years' jail and a $4,000 fine. He will also be banned from driving all classes of vehicles for 10 years.

The Singaporean had earlier pleaded guilty to four charges including drink driving, dangerous driving causing grievous hurt and driving without a valid Class 3 or 3A licence.

He also admitted to an unrelated charge of voluntarily causing hurt for punching a patron at a coffee shop during a fight in January 2020.

The court heard that Mohan and another man, Mr Aravindraj Manohar, 29, were employed by I. M. Ambulance Service, a private ambulance provider. Mohan worked as a medic while Mr Aravin was a driver.

At 8.45pm on July 6, 2020, they went to a carpark in Bukit Batok to rest after work.

Mohan bought four cans of beer and they drank in the ambulance till 10pm.

The accused then bought more beer and a vodka drink and told Mr Aravin that they were for his friend.

The pair then ferried someone from Corporation Road to Bukit Batok Care Home, before continuing to drink until about 11.15pm.

Then, Mr Aravin allowed Mohan to drive the ambulance to the latter's grandmother's house and Hilton Garden Inn in Serangoon.

The victim, who is Mohan's friend, boarded the ambulance at Garden Inn at around 1am. Her name was redacted from court documents.

After Mr Aravin left, Mohan and the victim started drinking before he drove the ambulance around from 1.30am to 2.30am.

There were numerous instances of Mohan driving erratically, such as driving against the flow of traffic in Hougang Street 22 and beating the red light at the junction of Philips Avenue and Yio Chu Kang Road.

He made several lane changes before crashing the ambulance into the guard rails on the SLE.

The vehicle toppled to its left and skidded along the expressway while revolving.

Mohan's friend could not move from the front passenger seat as her leg was stuck.

A police officer who arrived at the scene saw Mohan walking around the ambulance in a state of panic. He smelled strongly of alcohol and had an unsteady gait.

When asked if he was the driver, Mohan lied and said it was the victim. He then pleaded with her in Tamil to "help him".

Mohan failed a breathalyser test and was arrested. He had 183mg of ethanol per 100ml of blood, more than double the legal driving limit of 80mg per 100ml.

The victim was found to have suffered lower rib fractures and was given 38 days' hospitalisation leave.

For dangerous driving causing grievous hurt, an offender can be jailed for up to five years.

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