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The Straits Times
September 24, 2023
A suspected drink driver was arrested at home after abandoning his Porsche, which was involved in an accident that injured three occupants of another car.
Police said officers managed to track down the 34-year-old man to a unit in Potong Pasir, where they arrested him for suspected drink-driving.
He is also being investigated for dangerous driving causing hurt, failing to stop after an accident and leaving his vehicle at the scene of an accident.
Police said the incident in Serangoon Road was one of three on Aug 22 that resulted in arrests for suspected drink driving. The other two happened after the suspects were spotted at roadblock points.
The first involved officers from Tanglin Police Division, who had noticed a car stopping about 100m away at 3.20am.
The 42-year-old driver, who ran from the scene, was tracked down within two hours and arrested for suspected drink driving and evading a roadblock.
A similar incident at 4.20am saw officers from Bedok Police Division arresting a 27-year-old woman for suspected drink driving and evasion of a roadblock. She had stopped her car about 100m from officers.
Police said they have been stepping up enforcement action, especially targeting motorists who speed, or drink and drive, amid an increase in drink-driving accidents, including fatal cases.
From January to June 2023, there was a 21.4 per cent increase in drink-driving accidents – from 70 to 85 – compared with the same period last year.
Fatal drink-driving accidents doubled in number, from three in the first six months of 2022 to six in the same period this year.
The figures mirror the trend in 2022, which saw a marked increase in drink-driving accidents, including cases involving fatalities, compared with the previous year. More motorists were also arrested for drink driving over the same period.
Traffic Police commander Daniel Tan said the three drivers arrested on Aug 22 were fortunate to have been stopped before they caused more harm to themselves and others.
“Driving under the influence of alcohol is an irresponsible act that can lead to very serious consequences, such as loss of life,” he said, adding that the Traffic Police will continue to act against errant and irresponsible road behaviour.
Speaking to the media at the police headquarters in Irrawaddy Road on Thursday, officers who responded to the Serangoon incident described how they tracked down the Porsche driver.
Senior Staff Sergeant Mohamed Hafiz Maideen, from the K-9 Unit, was one of the first officers at the scene after police were alerted at 12.30am on Aug 22 that a driver had allegedly run a red light before his vehicle and a Honda car collided.
A lamp post was also damaged in the collision. Senior Staff Sgt Hafiz said by the time he got there, the suspect had fled the scene.
“So I used his wallet, which was found in his vehicle, as a scent introduction (for my dog),” added the 30-year-old officer.
Meanwhile, the driver and two passengers of the Honda car were taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital.
Senior Staff Sgt Hafiz said the dog led officers to Upper Serangoon Road and eventually to the driver’s home in Potong Pasir.
Sergeant (3) Muhammad Adzlan Hussein and his partner then went to the unit. The officers knew he was home because they had seen closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage of a man matching his description.
“He was walking in an unsteady manner and looked drunk,” said the 32-year-old officer.
(From left) Assistant Superintendent of Police Alvin Lai Weijian, Sergeant (3) Muhammad Adzlan Hussein and Senior Staff Sergeant Mohamed Hafiz Maideen were involved in the arrest of the Porsche driver. ST PHOTO: SHINTARO TAY
The two officers knocked on the door but there was no answer. Other police officers, including those from the Special Operations Command (SOC), were then activated.
One of the officers, Assistant Superintendent of Police Alvin Lai Weijian, said they believed the suspect was barricading himself in the unit.
ASP Lai, who is from SOC’s Police Tactical Unit, said: “He fled from a vehicular accident. We did not know his condition. He may be injured himself.
“So the ground commander gave the go ahead to breach the unit,” added ASP Lai, 38.
After forcing their way in at 6am, officers found him in the toilet unharmed and naked. He put on his clothes and was then arrested.
On Thursday, police were involved in a dramatic late-night chase involving at least five traffic police motorcycles and a police car.
It happened at about 1.45am, after the driver of a car was told by Traffic Police officers to stop at a roadblock in Whitley Road, in the Thomson area.
Instead of stopping, the man sped off but was stopped after a short chase. Officers then arrested the 25-year-old man for suspected drink driving, dangerous driving and evasion of roadblock.