Repeat drink driver had four glasses of red wine before killing motorist with his wife's BMW

Nadine Chua
The Straits Times
June 16, 2023

After drinking four glasses of red wine at dinner, a driver rammed his car into another man whose car had broken down along Ophir Road, killing him.

Ang Hiap Boon, 51, whose breath alcohol content was more than double the legal limit at the time of the accident in October 2020, pleaded guilty to two charges on Friday, including driving without due care and attention, causing death.

On the night of Oct 26, 2020, Ang had wine during dinner at a restaurant in Syed Alwi Road. He then headed home, driving his wife’s white BMW, Deputy Public Prosecutor Heershan Kaur said.

He travelled along Jalan Besar Road and made a left turn into Ophir Road, where a slip road leads to the East Coast Parkway.

The slip road has a speed limit of 50kmh, but Ang was travelling at a speed of between 64kmh and 74kmh.

Stopped in the left lane ahead of him was another white BMW that had broken down due to engine issues.

The driver, Mr Syed Kaleemullah Syed Erufanulla, 56, was outside his car, which had its tail lights on. He was walking from the rear towards the driver’s side of the car when Ang crashed into him.

The impact flung him forward onto the road. He was unconscious when he was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where he died of his injuries.

A breathalyser conducted after the accident put Ang’s breath alcohol content at 76 microgrammes per 100ml of breath, above the legal limit of 35 microgrammes per 100ml of breath.

Footage of the accident from Ang’s in-car camera that was played in court showed that he did not slow down before he rammed at high speed into the victim and his car.

The footage was so graphic that the judge pre-warned those present, and asked if anyone would like to step out before the video played.

This was not Ang’s first brush with the law.

The court heard that Ang, who was a vice-president of operations of a company and a director in his own consulting company, was fined and disqualified from driving for 16 months in 2005 for drink driving.

A long list of his past traffic violations was also read in court, which included multiple instances of speeding and failing to conform to a red light signal.

Ang is considered a serious repeat offender, and his case is believed to be the first case of its kind since traffic laws were enhanced in 2019.

The judge thus requested further submissions from the prosecution and defence to guide the court, and adjourned the case. The case is expected to be heard again in August.

Those who cause death by driving without due care and attention may be jailed for up to three years, fined up to $10,000, or both.

A serious repeat offender may get an additional jail term of up to four years, and may also face a driving ban.

For repeat drink driving, an offender can be jailed for up to two years, fined between $5,000 and $20,000, and banned from driving for five years.

The Straits Times

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