Lifetime ban for drunk driving T&T mechanic

(Trinidad Express) Mechanic Wazir Ramjohn will never legally drive again. He was on Monday permanently disqualified from driving after he appeared in court on his third charge of being behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol.

Ramjohn, 52 of Marabella, blamed his actions of driving while drunk on Easter Sunday –April 16 – on the anniversary of the death of his son. The magistrate however told him if he got relief from drinking he should not drive.

Ramjohn’s son died two years ago on April 13. His cause of his death was not mentioned in court. “He took it on and has been drinking again … he needs help holistically,” defence attorney Sharmilla Rampaul said.

Banned: Wazir Ramjohn

She said her client needed to be rehabilitated and counselled over his alcohol consumption, depression and dealing with life’s problems. Rampaul asked that he be spared a jail term although San Fernando Traffic Court magistrate Natalie Diop said the law allowed for such.

Rampaul told the court her client had two previous convictions of a similar nature. Diop said the police’s information showed matters in 2010 and 2014 were pending and she called on the police officers to ensure their records are updated.

The attorney said no person was hurt in the accident which led to the police officers discovering that Ramjohn was driving while under the influence.

The court heard that at 6 p.m. on April 16 there as a road traffic accident along Union Road Marabella Ramjohn. Ramjohn admitted to the police that he had been drinking. Breath tests showed he was over the limit by 42 microgrammes. He was charged by constable Sylvester.

Diop told Ramjohn that the accident and his two convictions were aggravating factors. She also said, “No matter how you feel, your personal circumstance, if drinking brings you relief and you opt to do so, you must not be on the road … You have been before the court on three occasions … The court has to send a clear message this conduct will not be tolerated.”

She fined Ramjohn $15,000. He had to pay $3,000 immediately or face two years hard labour. Ramjohn was ordered to pay the balance of $12,000 in two months.

The magistrate also told him that on a third conviction the law states there has to be a permanent disqualification from holding or obtaining a driver’s permit. Ramjohn’s permit was forfeited and ordered returned to the Licencing Authority.

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