By AZARD ALI Thursday, January 29 2015
A SAN FERNANDO magistrate yesterday heard two cases of drunk driving where in one case, alcohol was consumed to celebrate a new life, while in the other case, alcohol was used to dull the pain of the loss of a loved one.
Andy Tam, 31, in pleading guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol on Monday, told Magistrate Rehanna Ali that his father died last month and Monday was his “40 days”. With relatives who had come from abroad, Tam said, he took a few drinks, adding that it was in memory of his father who used to “lime” with him when he was alive.
Tam pleaded guilty before Ali, after which the court police prosecutor, Sgt Diniath Harricharan, said that when tested, the alcohol content in his breath was 93 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath.
The legal limit is 35 micrograms.
Asked by Ali why he opted to drive in such a state, emphasising the high level, Tam said, “My dad passed away a month ago, and it was the 40 days, and, relatives came from abroad. Well, my dad and I used to lime, I sorry.”
But the excuse did not go down well with Ali, who, in admonishing Tam about drinking alcohol, said there is no reason to get drunk, especially on the occasion of the death of one’s father. She told Tam to contemplate the hurt of a father, to have a son drinking on the occasion of his death.
But Tam chipped in, “Well my father use to lime with me as well.” Ali, however, went on to tell Tam, who disclosed that he has two children, that if he had gotten into an accident and lost his life, his children would have been fatherless. “Your wife would’ve been without a husband, and your mother, without a son. So, don’t blame anyone,” Ali said. Tam was fined $6,500.
But appearing afterwards before Ali was Omardath Ragoonanan, who, driving along the Guaracara, Tabaquite Road, at 12.20 am on Monday, was stopped by police officers. A breathalyser test, Harricharan said, revealed Ragoonanan had 94 micrograms of alcohol in his breath.
Questioned by Ali where he was going to at such time in the night, and, being drunk, Ragoonanan said that his wife gave birth. It was a girl, he added, and, his second child, a girl also who is just a year and nine months old. Ali told Ragoonanan that instead of being out at nights, he should have been with his wife at such a time when she is due to deliver their baby.
Ragoonanan was advised that girls see their father as the embodiment of what a husband should be. “You must be the best example to her,” the magistrate said, adding that daughters’ view of men, are formed on their relationship with their fathers. “And you certainly do not want your daughters seeing their father drinking alcohol,” Ali said. She requested that he attend Alcohol Anonymous meetings.