Shaw family scion jailed 8 weeks for drink driving

Howard Shaw had two previous convictions for drink driving. Besides being sentenced to eight weeks in jail, the 46-year-old was fined $10,000 and disqualified from driving for eight years, after he was caught drink driving for the third time.
Howard Shaw had two previous convictions for drink driving. Besides being sentenced to eight weeks in jail, the 46-year-old was fined $10,000 and disqualified from driving for eight years, after he was caught drink driving for the third time.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

Shaw family scion Howard Shaw Chai Li, 46, was yesterday jailed for eight weeks and fined $10,000 after he was caught drink driving for the third time.

The grandson of Shaw Organisation founder Runme Shaw was also disqualified from driving for eight years.

Shaw, who pleaded guilty to the offence yesterday, drank about three glasses of white wine at around 10pm on Jan 30 before driving four hours later.

He was behind the wheel in Whitley Road at about 3.45am on Jan 31 when police officers stopped him for checks at a roadblock. While talking to Shaw, one of the officers noticed that he reeked of alcohol. The officer arrested Shaw after he failed a breathalyser test.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Soh Weiqi said Shaw underwent a breath evidential analyser test at the Traffic Police Headquarters, which revealed he had 88 micrograms (mcg) of alcohol in every 100ml of breath - more than double the prescribed limit of 35mcg.

DPP Soh told District Judge Prem Raj that Shaw was first convicted of drink driving on Feb 19, 1998. He was fined $3,000 and disqualified from driving for two years. But he did not learn his lesson and was convicted of a similar offence on Jan 26, 2006. That time round, he was jailed for a week, fined $8,000 and disqualified from driving for four years.

Because of the two earlier convictions, DPP Soh told the court that Shaw was liable for an enhanced punishment, which meant he could be jailed for up to three years and fined up to $30,000.

She then urged the judge to sentence him to at least eight weeks in jail and a fine of $8,000. She also asked for Shaw to be disqualified from driving for eight years.

In his mitigation, Shaw's lawyer, Mr Terence Tan, suggested the same fine and length of disqualification, but asked for a jail sentence of up to six weeks. Stressing that Shaw was "unconditionally apologetic", he added: "Howard knows that he ought not to have driven after consuming alcohol and that he ought to have known better."

Shaw, who is the head of corporate social responsibility at Halcyon Corporate Services, kept his head bowed in the dock as he stood before the judge. He appeared downcast when he was later handcuffed and led away.

First-time drink drivers can be jailed for up to six months or fined between $1,000 and $5,000. Second-time offenders can be jailed for up to a year and fined between $3,000 and $10,000.

Offenders with at least two prior convictions will receive an enhanced penalty.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 26, 2017, with the headline 'Shaw family scion jailed 8 weeks for drink driving'. Print Edition | Subscribe