Lawyer jailed, fined and banned for second drink driving offence

Favian Kang Kok Boon has been jailed for 2 weeks after admitting to a second offence of drink driving on Oct 24, 2016.
Favian Kang Kok Boon has been jailed for 2 weeks after admitting to a second offence of drink driving on Oct 24, 2016. ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - A lawyer who had at least 11/2 times above the legal limit for drink driving in his blood last October was jailed, fined and banned from driving for 3 1/2 years on Thursday (April 27).

This is Favian Kang Kok Boon's second conviction for drink driving. In April 2009, he was fined $3,000 and banned from driving for two years for drink driving. He was also then fined $700 for driving without due care and attention.

On Thursday, the 31-year-old was jailed for two weeks, fined $4,000 and banned from driving after he admitted to a similar offence along Bukit Timah Road at 3.45am on Oct 24 last year.

His blood alcohol level was found to be not less than 128mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood which exceeded the prescribed limit of 80 mg/100ml.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Shahla Iqbal said Kang was driving his car - a Mercedes C Class - back home when he was stopped for a spot check along Bukit Timah Road.

A traffic policeman noticed that Kang smelt of alcohol, had a flushed face, and had bloodshot eyes.

A breathalyzer test was conducted but Kang claimed that he was unable to complete the test due to shortness of breath. He also said he had asthma.

He was arrested and taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital for his blood to be taken for alcohol analysis. After that, he was escorted to the Traffic Police headquarters.

Investigation showed that either on Oct 23 or 24 last year, he and his two friends were near Clarke Quay, where he consumed alcohol.

In his mitigation plea, Kang's lawyer Suresh Damodara said that his client had to meet a client from a well-known mechanical engineering company and his client's business associate.

But he did not know that some Korean associates would be joining the meeting.

The lawyer said Kang was "compelled by business custom/etiquette'' to drink because of his client's Korean associates.

Mr Damodara said since his first conviction, Kang had learnt his lesson and had consistently used valet services or would not drive if he knew he would be drinking.

Feeling tired and unable to obtain a car valet service, he drove home, he added.

Counsel said Kang is an active member of the Supreme Court's Legal Aid Scheme for Capital Offences (Lasco) and an active volunteer of the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme (Clas).

Since 2013, he has acted pro bono for underprivileged individuals in nine matters, contributing about 280 hours of his personal time.

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 at him along a common corridor of Block 3 Jalan Bukit Merah.

As a repeat offender, Kang could have been fined up to $10,000 and jailed for up to a year for drink driving.