Written by Team Farallon
Drink driving is the act of driving while intoxicated. Alcohol inhibits a driver’s ability to discern danger and retain full control of the vehicle, thus posing a danger to himself and other road users. In Singapore, an average of one person is killed each month due to drink driving.
With alcohol impairing the judgment of drivers, Singapore has in place various laws concerning drink driving.
Under Section 67 of the Road Traffic Act, you are guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol if you:
Under the drink-driving laws in Singapore, the legal alcohol limit is 35 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath or 80 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.
First-time offenders of drink driving can generally expect a fine between $2,000 and $10,000 and disqualification from holding or obtaining a driving license for at least 2 years.
In the event that a first-time offender for drink driving gets into an accident and causes physical injury and/or property damage, an imprisonment term not exceeding 12 months will usually be imposed. In addition, they can be charged with another offence of:
Repeated offenders will face a compulsory jail term of up to two years in addition to a fine amounting to between $5,000 to $20,000. The offender will also be banned from driving for a minimum of five years.
If you are convicted of drink-driving for the first time, you face a fine of $2,000 to $10,000 and/or up-to one year in prison. Repeat offenders face fines ranging from $5,000 to $20,000, as well as up to two years in prison.
For at least two years, offenders will be prohibited from holding or getting a driver’s license (or at least 5 years for repeat offenders), unless the court finds that there are compelling reasons to order a shorter period of disqualification (or no disqualification at all). If the offender has also been convicted of risky or careless driving, the period of disqualification may be extended.
The Court takes two key factors into consideration when assigning the penalty to the convicted offender.
The court will look into the degree of harm. There are 4 main categories: Slight, Moderate, Serious and Very Serious.
The culpability of the offender is determined by two main factors:
There are 3 levels of culpability:
The accused can be considered not guilty under Section 71A of the Road Traffic Act if he can prove that he had consumed alcohol only after he had stopped driving or stopped attempting to drive.
Another defence is to contest the result of the Breath Evidential Analyser (BEA), which is done after failing the initial breathalyzer test. The offender will be required to demonstrate, using expert evidence, that:
A problem with this defence is that the trial might take months, if not years, following the arrest, and the machine could have been calibrated or repaired in the interim.
It is required by law to do so. If the individual, without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with the authority’s request, they will be treated as having committed the offence of driving while drunk according to Section 70 (4) of the Road Traffic Act.
Even if you are not the driver of the vehicle, you may still be considered guilty If you are in charge of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
According to Section 68 of the Road Traffic Act, any person who is in control of a vehicle on the road or in a public place, but is not driving the vehicle, is guilty of an offence if:
It is worth noting, nevertheless, that a person isn’t deemed in charge of a vehicle if:
Drink driving is a dangerous act, posing danger to the driver and road users around him. There should be travel arrangements made in case the driver is intoxicated such as booking a Grab. It is possible to consult a legal expert on legalities relating to drink driving.
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