Zouk founder Lincoln Cheng loses appeal against one-week jail term for drink driving

Lincoln Cheng pleaded guilty to one count of drink driving in October 2017.
Lincoln Cheng pleaded guilty to one count of drink driving in October 2017.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The founder of iconic nightspot Zouk, Lincoln Cheng, on Friday (March 23) started serving his one-week jail jail term for drink driving, after the High Court dismissed his appeal against his sentence.

On Feb 15 last year, Cheng, 70, whose statutory name is Ching Ling Ka, had two glasses of wine during dinner at Ion Orchard before driving home.

In Eu Tong Sen Street at around midnight, he ran two red lights before colliding with a taxi.

The SMRT taxi mounted a kerb before hitting a metal pole supporting a sheltered walkway.

Cheng was arrested at the scene after failing a breathalyser test.

A further test found he had 43 micrograms of alcohol in every 100ml of breath. The prescribed limit for driving is 35mcg.

In October, he pleaded guilty to one count of drink driving. A district court sentenced him to a week in jail and banned him from driving for three years, taking into consideration another count of dangerous driving.

 
 

On Friday, Cheng's lawyer, Mr Kesavan Nair, argued that his client was willing to accept a longer driving ban or even having his driving licence revoked, and that the one-week jail term was too harsh.

Mr Nair noted that the amount of alcohol in Cheng's breath was only 8mcg above the legal limit. Cheng had previously used valet services but on this occasion, his client chose to drive himself home as he believed the alcohol had worn off.

Cheng has made full restitution of almost $21,000 to SMRT for the cost of repairing the taxi, he added.

Justice Chan Seng Onn dismissed the appeal, saying that the district judge had already considered these factors in deciding on the sentence.

Zouk was sold to casino and cruise-line conglomerate Genting Hong Kong in 2015.