IAN KEVIN RAMDHANIE
Caribbean Institute for Security
and Public Safety
Hours after attending the Rave Sahara Breakfast Party at North Coast Road, Maracas on Friday night, six people appeared before a Port-of-Spain magistrate yesterday, charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. Among them were a car salesman and an entertainment photographer.
Also before the court, charged with driving under the influence was driver Deonarine Ramdass. Seeking to counsel all who appeared before him yesterday, Magistrate Carl Quamina adopted an unusual approach as he ordered all defendants to attend Alcoholics Anonymous and return to court for sentencing.
Warren Austin, Dale Mille, Daniel Williams, Keelon Mahabir, Alex Allum and Joshua Didier appeared in the Port-of-Spain Sixth Court charged with driving under the influence. While Austin pleaded not guilty, Mille and Allum both pleaded guilty with an explanation.
The court heard that police stopped Mille at a roadblock around 7.50 am on January 19, along the North Coast Road, Maracas, minutes after he had driven away from the Carnival fete. A breathalyser test showed Mille’s blood alcohol level measured 108 microgrammes per every 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit for a driver is 35 per 100.
Sgt Edward Edmund told the court yesterday that Mille had admitted to drinking some rum with friends, minutes before he was stopped by the police. Asked to explain why he went behind the wheel after drinking, Mille said there had been an altercation involving a female friend who had accompanied him to the party, and in order to escape a volatile situation which would have led to a breach of the peace, he opted to drive to another area of the beach to “cool down.”
Mille had no pending matters or previous convictions. Quamina urged him to consider getting a designated driver to accompany him to the parties at which he would be working during the 2013 Carnival season. Mille was also ordered to provide documentation from his employer on the next adjourned date, attesting to his character and clean record. He will return to court on February 21 for sentencing.
In the matter involving Allum, a salesman at Sterling Motors, Sackville Street, Port-of-Spain, the court heard that Allum had assigned a designated driver for the return journey home, but was stumped after he realised the person had been drinking all night. Allum, who was represented by attorney Larry Williams, was charged with driving under the influence after he was detained around 8.25 am on January 19, along the North Coast Road.
The court was told Allum’s blood alcohol level measured 52 microgrammes per 100 milliliters of breath. Apologising to the court yesterday, Williams said Allum’s action was a one-off, as he assured that it would never happen again. Allum was also ordered to attend AA, as well as producing a testimonial from his employer when he reappears on January 31, to be sentenced.
Austin, who pleaded not guilty, was granted $15,000 own bail and will reappear on February 21. Ramdass, 59, a driver of Oropune Gardens, Piarco, pleaded guilty to driving under the influence on January 18 at Anderson Terrace, Maraval. With no objections to bail, Ramdass was granted $10,000 own bail and will reappear on January 30, when the facts will be taken, following which he will be sentenced.
Ramdass was also ordered to attend AA and to report to the Licensing Division, to effect a change of address on his driver’s permit.