Student who died in crash had twice the legal limit of alcohol for drink driving: Coroner

Mr Aslam Ahmad Nizamudeen, 24, was found to have 169mg ethanol per 100ml of blood. The legal limit is 80mg/100ml. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A coroner on Wednesday (May 24) found the death of a SIM Global Education student in a fatal crash at Ophir Road last December to be a  tragic traffic misadventure.

Mr Aslam Ahmad Nizamudeen, 24, was found to have 169mg ethanol per 100ml of blood. The legal limit is 80mg/100ml.

At an inquest into his death along the slip road at Ophir Road last Dec 18, the court heard that he had been driving alone along the road towards East Coast Park (ECP) in the direction of Changi Airport at around 5.45am that day.

Investigations showed that he was trying to negotiate the left-bend slip road into the expressway when he lost control of the car. The car swerved to its right, mounted the kerb and landed on the left side at the centre divider.

He and a group of friends had earlier met at Village Hotel to celebrate a friend's birthday.

His friend detected the smell of alcohol  on Mr Aslam even before the drinking session started in the hotel room. They had consumed three bottles of whisky diluted with Coke at about 4am.

Mr Aslam had left the room to make or receive a call. He did not return after that and had left his wallet inside the room.

In his findings, State Coroner Marvin Bay said Mr Aslam's grossly elevated post-mortem blood alcohol level of about 169mg/100ml would have likely caused signs of inebriation such as drowsiness or loss of coordination.

"It is probable that in this intoxicated state and impairment of his faculties, Mr Aslam had lost control of his car. His death is therefore an unfortunate traffic misadventure,'' he said.

His death follows recent cases of individuals who had hit into stationary structures while drunk.

These include marketing manager Tan Hock Hai, in his 40s, who collided into guard railings along Pan-Island Expressway last Nov 2; and ITE student Sandeep Singh Chhabra, 25, whose Jaguar  had impacted against metal railings on the centre road divider near Siglap Road on Oct 3 last year.

Coroner Bay said these tragic deaths underscored the consequences and tragic costs of disregarding the advice to avoid driving any vehicle after drinking.

The message should be crystal clear that drinking large amounts of alcohol is "utterly incompatible with safe driving'', he added.