LAMENTING the recent road fatalities in Trinidad and Tobago, a magistrate yesterday slapped a $5,000 fine on a truck driver who pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol. Kalim Mohammed, 55 of Mission Road, Freeport, was given seven days to pay the fine or serve nine months imprisonment.
Mohammed, on whom a breathalyser test was administered on Saturday, exceeded the prescribed alcohol limit of 35 microgrammes, by 104 microgrammes. The truck driver pleaded guilty to the charge. Police court prosecutor Sgt Shiva Boodoo, told the court that on Saturday at about 2.20 pm, Mohammed came to the Chaguanas Police Station to report a road traffic accident. The magistrate, Rae Roopchan, heard that while being interviewed, police officers detected a strong alcohol scent emanating from Mohammed’s breath.
He was subjected to a breathalyser test which gave a reading of 152 microgrammes per every 100 millilitres of breath. A second test conducted gave a reading of 139 microgrammes for every 100 millilitres of breath. The legal alcohol limit for a driver in this country is 35 microgrammes per every 100 millilitres of breath.
Mohammed told Roopchan he had attended a wake and had some “sawine and stag.”
Roopchan said, “Saturday daylight you were drinking. What if you had gotten in an accident, You should be disqualified, you are not supposed to be on the road. There are people dying on the road, children, adults, and you all are not obeying the law.”
The magistrate said that it is not a good sight to see the body of a child being carried away from an accident scene. Yet people, he added, are not learning. “What do you all want in this country again; this has been happening for too long,” the magistrate added, before imposing the fine and ordering Mohammed to pay in seven days.