Top international lawyer fined and banned for drink driving

Marcus Jerome Gordon, 45, admitted to driving along Keppel Road when he had at least 181mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood on Sept 10, 2016.
Marcus Jerome Gordon, 45, admitted to driving along Keppel Road when he had at least 181mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood on Sept 10, 2016.

SINGAPORE - A lawyer from an international law firm was fined $3,200 and banned from driving for 26 months on Tuesday (Jan 10) for drink driving.

Briton Marcus Jerome Gordon, 45, who is a Singapore permanent resident, admitted to driving along Keppel Road when he had at least 181mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood on Sept 10 last year. This exceeded the legal limit of 80mg per 100ml.

Gordon, the head of Watson Farley & Williams' litigation and dispute resolution group, specialises in international arbitration and dispute resolution in oil and gas, shipping chartering, oil rig operations and oilfield development.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Azri Imran Tan said Gordon had been drinking at a restaurant along Boat Quay with his girlfriend the night before. They left at about 2am in his car for home.

At 2.12am, while driving along Keppel Road towards Telok Blangah Road, an unknown car cut into his lane from the left.

He swerved to the right to avoid a collision and mounted the kerb, hitting the bushes. Part of the bushes on the centre divider of the road was damaged as a result.

A Traffic Police sergeant arriving at the scene noticed that Gordon was reeking of alcohol and had bloodshot eyes and a flushed face.

Gordon, who admitted having taken alcoholic drinks, failed a breathalyser test. He was arrested and escorted to the Traffic Police headquarters where his blood sample was taken as he could not provide a valid breath specimen due to pain in his abdomen and back.

DPP Tan told District Judge Carol Ling that drink driving is an offence that reflects a blatant disregard for the safety of other road users and, more pertinently, a lack of personal responsibility.

He said the proportion of alcohol in Gordon's blood was more than double - 2.26 times - the prescribed legal limit.

"He knew full well that it is an offence to drive while under the influence of alcohol, and yet, he chose to drive home after a night of drinking," said DPP Tan.

Gordon's lawyer Suresh Damodara said his client, who has been working for the firm for 17 years, is supporting two young children. He said Gordon has been consistently recognised as one of the top legal personae in Asia.

He was also a committee member of the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators and sits on the international panels of, among others, Singapore International Arbitration Centre.

Counsel said his client gives financial help monthly to the Rainbow Trust Children's Charity, and has given career advice to young people with underprivileged backgrounds with the Ark of the Gospel Church, among other things.

Gordon could have been fined up to $5,000 and/or jailed for up to six months for drink driving.