SINGAPORE: Local celebrity Shane Pow was on Wednesday (Jul 14) sentenced to five weeks' jail, a S$6,000 fine and a driving ban of five years for his second drink driving conviction.
The former Mediacorp actor, who was named as Pow Xun Ping in court documents, pleaded guilty to one count of driving under the influence.
The 30-year-old admitted to exceeding the prescribed limit of 35mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath by 14mg.
The court heard that Pow was with two friends at a Korean restaurant along Amoy Street at about 7pm on Sep 17 last year.
He had two glasses of beer and stopped drinking at about 8.30pm, said the prosecutor. Pow remained at the restaurant with his friends and drank water after that, said his lawyer.
At about 10.30pm, he drove his friends home in his van. He was on the way home at about 11.20pm when he was stopped at a roadblock along Java Road towards Nicoll Highway.
A traffic police officer officer observed that Pow "reeked of alcohol", said Deputy Public Prosecutor Goh Yong Ngee.
Pow failed a breathalyser test and was taken back to the traffic police headquarters for another test, which found 49mg of alcohol per every 100ml of his breath, above the 35mg limit.
NOT HIS FIRST OFFENCE
This was Pow's second drink driving offence. He was convicted in 2014 of the same charge, and fined S$1,500 and banned from driving for a year. He was also given an S$800 fine for inconsiderate driving.
He was fined S$300 for attending a 13-person birthday party at actor Terence Cao's home last year.
For his latest drink driving offence, the prosecutor asked for at least five weeks' jail, a fine of S$6,000 and a driving ban of five years.
Pow's lawyer, S S Dhillon, asked for four weeks' jail, a fine of S$5,000 and a driving ban of five years.
POW "SHELL-SHOCKED" BY PROCEEDINGS: DEFENCE
The lawyer said Pow's last drink driving offence was seven years ago, and that Pow was "completely shell-shocked" by the arrest, police investigations, media coverage and court attendances.
"He is so dislocated and petrified that the accused will never dare to be anything less than a law-abiding citizen henceforth," said Mr Dhillon. "This fear has sent shivers down his spine, which in itself is a grave punishment for the accused."
Pow thought the alcohol level in his blood had subsided as he drank a lot of water and consumed only two small bottles of beer, said his lawyer.
"In fact, he had only drunk to appease his friend as it was his birthday," said Mr Dhillon, adding that the friend insisted Pow share a drink with him.
He said Pow worked hard to get to his place in the entertainment industry and had a successful career as a young aspiring actor, but was "retrenched following adverse publicity".
"His livelihood, and by extension, his parents' livelihoods, are now in jeopardy," said the lawyer, adding that Pow's father is a taxi driver while his mother is a housewife.
He said no injury nor harm was caused, calling it "a victimless crime".
Mr Dhillon said Pow has since worked doubly hard to ensure the growth of his new food business, Sibay Shiok, which he helms with Terence Cao. The business is not doing well due to the pandemic, said Mr Dhillon.
Pow was talent-scouted by a modelling agency and starred in local dramas. He was dubbed one of the "Eight Dukes of Caldecott Hill" in 2014 along with Romeo Tan, Desmond Tan, Zhang Zhen Huan, Ian Fang, Jeffrey Xu, Aloysius Pang and Xu Bin.
Mediacorp said on Apr 26 that Pow did not inform his artiste management team about his drink driving charge. The company said it would "part ways" with the actor.
Pow was allowed two phone calls before he began his jail term on Wednesday.
For drink driving as a repeat offender, he could have been jailed up to two years and fined between S$5,000 and S$20,000.