Merc driver drove against flow of traffic to evade arrest for drink driving; gets 4 weeks' jail

Lam Chen Wee was sentenced to four weeks' jail, fined $2,700, and banned from driving for three years for the incident in the early hours of Jan 26 (2017). ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A 26-year-old motorist, who had drunk at least half a bottle of cognac at a club, panicked when he saw a police road block ahead.

To avoid being caught for drink driving, Lam Chen Wee reversed his Mercedes CLA 200 and drove against the flow of traffic for nearly 300m, covering two expressways.

On Wednesday (Nov 22), Lam, now 27, was sentenced to four weeks' jail, fined $2,700, and banned from driving for three years for the incident in the early hours of Jan 26 (2017).

He pleaded guilty to one count each of dangerous driving, drink driving, failing to stop when ordered by a police officer, and leaving a vehicle in a manner likely to endanger others.

Lam, who had three passengers in his car, was driving along the slip road from Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) towards Changi into Upper Serangoon Road at about 3am. He was along the slip road of Jalan Toa Payoh when he saw a roadblock ahead.

To avoid the roadblock, he slowed down and started reversing his car.

One of his friends in the backseat told him to move forward as normal but Lam continued reversing for about 140m along the slip road from the Central Expressway (CTE) into Upper Serangoon Road.

This caused a rear tyre to mount the kerb along the road divider.

Despite this, Lam continued to reverse along the slip road, as several vehicles swerved to avoid his car.

He stopped at the chevron markings separating CTE (SLE) and PIE and switched off his headlights as he was worried that police officers might spot his car.

Lam then reversed again into the slip road of CTE (SLE) into Upper Serangoon Road. He stopped after a left bend on a dimly lit slip road, posing a danger to other motorists.

After about two minutes, he started driving towards the chevron, with his headlights still off. He made an illegal U-turn and drove against traffic for about 100m along Jalan Toa Payoh.

He stopped momentarily at a bus bay, waited for traffic to clear, and continued driving against the flow of traffic further into PIE towards Changi Airport.

Four vehicles - including two taxis, which flashed their high beams at him - slowed down as he came towards them.

Lam then started reversing again into the bus bay. After the four vehicles passed him, he accelerated against the flow of traffic for about 31m and made an abrupt illegal U-turn, cutting across the chevron to join the normal flow of traffic of PIE towards Changi Airport.

Lam was subsequently stopped by a Traffic Police officer along the PIE 13-km mark.

He failed a breathalyser test and was taken to Jurong Police Division for a further test, which revealed he had 38 microgrammes (mcg) of alcohol per 100 ml of breath. The prescribed limit for driving is 35 mcg.

The incident was captured by traffic cameras as well as Lam's dashcam.

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