NINETEEN drivers were fined a total of $73,000 in the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
One driver, Sookhoo Roopnath, was fined $10,000 and disqualified from driving for three years.
It was Roopnath’s second time before a magistrate charged with drunk driving.
Roopnath, 46, of La Romaine, admitted that on Sunday he had “some beers” and pleaded guilty to being 43 microgrammes over the legal 35 microgramme limit.
He was stopped by officers around midnight and was administered the Breathalyser test.
He told the officer, “Boss, me and meh wife ent pulling. I really had some beers.
“Help meh nah. I ‘fraid. I went to buy cigarettes.”
Roopnath told the court yesterday he drank wine and went a short distance away from his home to purchase the cigarettes when he was arrested.
San Fernando Traffic Court Magistrate Rehanna Hosein told him he should have walked.
She was told that in February 2011, Roopnath was fined $5,000 for a similar offence.
Hosein doubled that fine yesterday and gave Roopnath until October 30 to pay the money.
She also disqualified the apologetic Roopnath from driving for three years.
“There is no sorry sir. You are a liability to other road users. To protect users, I am taking you off the road,” the magistrate said.
Another driver, Gregory Williams, who told the court he drank alcohol followed by cough medicine, was chastised by the magistrate.
Hosein told him that the directions on these medication boxes state that it is not to be used with alcohol and heavy machinery is not to be operated. “You got into a car and drove after drinking alcohol. Not only are you endangering yourself, but other people too,” she said.
Williams, who told the court that he had a “bad cough”, was found around 3.30 a.m. on Sunday along Lady Hailes Avenue, San Fernando.
He had readings up to 100 microgrammes after the breath tests and Hosein yesterday fined him $5,500. In default of paying $1,500 immediately and the balance by September 9, Williams will serve three years hard labour.
Hosein also placed Nicholas Yorke on a $2,000 bond to keep the peace for a year.
He was found to be 11 microgrammes over the legal limit after he was pulled over around 4.05 a.m. on Saturday during a road traffic exercise along the SS Erin Road in Debe.
Yorke, an employee of Telecommunication Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT), told the court he went to a wake to pick up a friend who had called for assistance.
Yorke said he had three beers at the wake and also drank coffee. “I hadn’t known I was over the limit. I have learnt my lesson,” he said.
Should Yorke breach the bond, he will return to court to be sentenced.
Kevon Ali was fined a total of $3,800 after he was found to be driving without a certificate of insurance and a driver’s permit.
The teenager was stopped at a roadblock in Debe on Saturday. He told the officers he was behind the wheel because he was the only sober person in the car. Ali, 18, was transporting his brother and two friends.
He admitted to the court he was learning to drive.
Hosein ordered that he pay the fine by September 9 or serve time in jail.
His fine meant the court had imposed $76,800 in fines by midday yesterday.