Singapore permanent resident sentenced to 8 weeks for driving wrong side for 12 km

Singapore permanent resident sentenced to 8 weeks for driving wrong side for 12 km

Singapore, Nov 20 (PTI) A 27-year-old Singapore permanent resident was sentenced to eight weeks in jail and disqualified from driving for three years for driving at high speed and against traffic for about 12 km along a major expressway here.

Aswani Daryanani Mohit Riz, drove at speeds of up to 91 km against traffic along the Pan Island Expressway (PIE), passing more than 40 vehicles, Channel News Asia reported on Monday.

He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, was sentenced to eight weeks in jail, and was disqualified from driving for three years, the report said.

Aswani, whose nationality was not stated in the report, intends to appeal against his sentence and is out on bail pending appeal, according to the report.

According to a judgment made available over the weekend, Aswani, who had drunk multiple glasses of beer with his friends, drove his car against the flow of traffic on the PIE at about 4 am, and continued driving against traffic for about 12 km, knowing that he was going against traffic.

Surveillance cameras showed him driving past more than 40 vehicles, including cars, motorcycles, vans and lorries, according to the report.

Aswani often drove in the fastest lane and veered between lanes, with other road users forced to take evasive action by veering away from him, filtering lanes or braking to avoid a collision.

By the time of his arrest from his workplace the next afternoon, Aswani's breath alcohol level had almost returned to normal, and there was no drunk driving charge, the report said.

His lawyers said their client was not intoxicated when he was driving, asserting that he had gone the wrong way because he was unfamiliar with roads in Singapore.

They argued that Aswani 'panicked when he realised that he was going the opposite direction', and his confusion was exacerbated by his eye condition for which he underwent surgery but still suffers slight impairment.

They claimed that he chose to stay in that lane because he believed vehicles would travel at a slower speed.

District Judge Salina Ishak agreed with the prosecution that the risk of harm was 'exceptionally high' in this case and that Aswani had driven for a 'very substantial distance'.

She said he drove in a particularly dangerous manner for almost an hour. PTI GS GRS AKJ GRS GRS

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