A WOMAN arrested for drunk driving after purchasing Valentine's Day presents last Friday , told the court yesterday that she was unaware that having two beers could have taken her over the legal alcohol limit to drive a vehicle.
Denise Simmons was found to be 26 microgrammes beyond the 35 microgramme legal limit. "If you don't know how alcohol affects you, the safest thing to do is not to drink alcohol at all if you know you are going to operate a vehicle," San Fernando Magistrate Rehanna Hosein responded.
The Traffic Court heard that at around 4.20 p.m. on February 14, Simmons was on Mucurapo Street, San Fernando when she was stopped by the police.
Simmons told the court that she had purchased Valentine's Day gifts, had two beers and was driving out of a car park when the police pulled her aside.
Hosein fined Simmons $2,000 or serve four months in prison.
Simon Flemming, who was held minutes after midnight on Saturday, was fined $9,000 and had his driver's permit taken away by the magistrate for driving under the influence of alcohol.
It was his second court appearance for a matter of this nature.
Attorney Renu Teekasingh told the magistrate that it was Valentine's Day and her client admitted that he consumed alcohol to the extent that he was over the legal limit.
She said Flemming was remorseful for his actions.
"Valentine's Day doesn't give one a licence to behave however one wishes. It is a day to celebrate. It doesn't mean you put people in danger. Do it in a responsible manner," Hosein said.
At around 12.15 a.m. on February 15, Flemming, a painter from Marabella, was the driver of a vehicle that was seen swerving along the SS Erin Road.
When the officer stopped him, alcohol was smelt on Flemming's breath.Breath tests later showed that he had a reading of 74 microgrammes - 39 microgrammes over the legal limit.
Hosein heard that, back in 2009, the father of one had been fined $3,800 on a similar charge.She asked if he did not have his last court appearance at the forefront of his mind. "Why would you want to be here again?" Hosein asked.
She fined him $9,000 which has to be paid by March 21 or he will serve three years hard labour. Hosein also disqualified Flemming from holding or obtaining a driver's permit for three years.