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Christmas errand costs drunk driver
A Cepep worker had to dip into his Christmas budget yesterday to avoid spending the next three months in jail on a drunk-driving charge. Imtiaz Mohammed, 48, was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine forthwith after he pleaded guilty before San Fernando Traffic Court magistrate Indar Jagroo to driving under the influence of alcohol. Mohammed, 48, who has never owned a driver’s permit, pleaded guilty to a total of seven road traffic charges.
The offences stem from an incident last Friday in Debe. Police prosecutor Sgt Russell Ramoutar said around 3.20 pm Cpl Rudranath Ramphal was on patrol along Cuchawan Trace when he saw a car heading south along the SS Erin Road collide with a parked van. The police gave chase after the car did not stop. It eventually stopped along Lalbeharry Trace.
When Ramphal requested Mohammed’s driving documents, Mohammed said: “Boss, I don’t have none.” The officer asked him if he had been drinking after he caught a whiff of alcohol on his breath. Mohammed said he had about three beers earlier. He was taken to the Debe Police post where breathalyser tests recorded readings of 72 and 74 microgrammes respectively. The legal limit is 35 mcg.
Mohammed also admitted he had not asked Indira Ramnarine if he could borrow her car. He said he was “hanging out” at a Christmas party, where he had a “few drinks in meh head,” when his mother called and asked him to get some carpet for her. He said he made a bad decision to go for the carpet and to use Ramnarine’s car without her permission. He offered to fix Ramnarine’s car and the van.
On the charge of driving without insurance and a driver’s permit he was fined $2,000 or will serve three months in prison and $500 or one month in prison respectively. He was allowed a month to pay the fines. The charges of failing to produce a driver’s permit and insurance were dismissed because the magistrate said a person could not produce something he did not own.
The prosecutor asked for sentencing on charges of causing damage to property and driving the car without the owner’s consent to be deferred for the police to ascertain the cost of damage. Mohammed was placed on $5,000 bail and the matter was adjourned to January 6. A summons also was issued for Ramnarine to attend court.
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