Whatever happens, do not panic. With some clear thought and guidance from an experienced lawyer, you may be able to reduce and mitigate the consequences of your indiscretion.

The first step is to understand the charges against you.

What is Drink-Driving and What are the Punishments?

Section 67 of the Road Traffic Act sets out the offence for driving on a road or other public place while under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants. There are two ways you may be found to have committed the act of drink-driving:

  • When a breathalyzer test or blood test is performed on you, and you have been found to exceed the legal limits (which are 35microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath or 80 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood).
  • When you are found unfit to drive because you are so drunk that you are incapable of having proper control of the vehicle you are driving or riding. No breathalyzer or blood tests are necessary to charge you for this.

A first-time offender may be liable to a fine of between $2,000 and $10,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 1 year. The offender’s driving licence will also be revoked for at least two years. The offender may escape a prison sentence.

A repeat offender faces a fine of between $5,000 and $20,000 and up to 2 years’ imprisonment. The offender’s driving licence will be revoked for a minimum of 5 years. The offender will not escape a prison sentence.

What Sentence Will You Get?

As always, this depends on many factors, which include

  • prior offences, including traffic offences
  • the need to deter the general public from drink-driving
  • the need to rehabilitate offenders
  • aggravating factors (for example, an offender may have resisted arrest and behaved badly to police officers)
  • mitigating factors (for example, the offender has shown his remorse by compensating an injured victim, may have been an upstanding citizen with years of philanthropic work).

3 of the more important factors considered by the court for drink-driving offences are:

The nature and extent of actual or potential harm caused by the offence

Here, the court will consider the nature and degree of harm caused by the drink-driving, including property damage, physical injury and even loss of life.

The driver’s culpability (or fault) for the offence

Here, the court will consider how blameworthy or culpable you are for drink-driving. It does this by considering how drunk you were with reference to the breathalyzer or blood tests results, with the assumption that the higher the alcohol level, the harsher the punishment should be. The court will also look into the circumstances of your choice to drink and drive and all relevant behaviour leading up to being charged in court.

Your Antecedents (previous offences)

Another thing the courts consider in all criminal prosecutions and drink-driving cases are antecedents (or your previous convictions and offences). Even minor, compoundable traffic offences will be taken into account by the courts as. An aggravating factor under Section 139AA of the Road traffic Act.

Under Section 67A of the Road Traffic Act, the aggravated sentence may even be up to 3 times the usual sentence if you have antecedents which are serious road traffic offences.

Need Advice ?

Speak to a Lawyer Now

At Lions Chambers LLC, we pride ourselves on being responsive. We understand that some problems need immediate attention, let us assist you.

Do You Have Any Defence?

Whether we like it or not, the laws of Singapore and its courts are very tough on drink-driving. Excuses like you only drank a little bit, you drove only a short distance, no damage or injury was caused, etc will not be entertained by the courts.

The only real way to defend against a drink-driving charge is proving that you had taken the alcohol only after you had stopped driving or after you had stopped attempting to drive (as recognized in Section 71A of the Road Traffic Act). However, you need to be very careful – if you’re in charge of a vehicle while being drunk, but not driving it, you may still be committing an offence under Section 68 of the Road Traffic Act.

Another valid defence is to challenge the breathalyzer or blood test results.

Both defences are very rarely used, and very rarely successful.

What Are The Other Charges That Sometimes Accompany a Drink-Driving Charge?

In many cases, especially the more serious drink-driving charges which involved an accident, property damage or injuries, some other charges are also levelled by the prosecution against the offender. These include:

  • Reckless or dangerous driving, an offence under Section 64 of the Road Traffic Act
  • Driving without due care or reasonable consideration, an offence under Section 65 of the Road Traffic Act
  • Failure to stop the vehicle upon being involved in an accident, an offence under Section 84 of the Road Traffic Act


Need Advice ?

Speak to a Lawyer Now

At Lions Chambers LLC, we pride ourselves on being responsive. We understand that some problems need immediate attention, let us assist you.

What Can a Lawyer Do For You?

If you have been charged with drink-driving, Lions Chambers LLC can assist you by:

  • Confirming that the charge details are accurate (i.e. confirming that you are indeed charged for an offence you have committed)
  • Negotiate with prosecutors and the judge on bail and sentencing
  • Negotiating with the prosecutors to replace the charge with a less serious charge
  • Reduce the number of charges you face
  • Reduce the sentence you face

How can we help you

Criminal Defence for Drink Driving in Singapore is a delicate issue and technical for you to fully understand alone. We understand that going through such an event in your life is difficult. Worry not, at Lions Chambers LLC, we have experienced lawyers well-versed in Criminal Defence in Singapore. We will be able to guide you through the process and explain to you each and every stage the matter.

Lions Chambers LLC is an established law firm in Singapore. Our team of lawyers specialise in various areas of law and will be able to assist you. Our consultations are free. Please call +65 8777 3677 or click here to WhatsApp us today.