SINGAPORE — The sister-in-law of American actor and filmmaker George Clooney was jailed for three weeks and fined $6,400 in a traffic court in Singapore on Monday (14 October).
Tala Alamuddin Le Tallec, 47, a Singapore permanent resident, will also be banned from driving for four years after her release from prison.
She pleaded guilty to a charge of having close to three times the legal limit of alcohol in her breath while she was driving her husband’s car along Holland Road towards Ulu Pandan at about 2.30am on 14 May.
She also admitted to driving without a licence and without insurance.
A fourth charge of driving the car without its owner’s consent was considered in sentencing as part of her plea bargain.
Tala, who is the older sister of Clooney’s wife Amal, had been stopped at a police roadblock reeking of alcohol. She had 95mcg of alcohol per 100ml of her breath. The legal limit is 35mcg per 100ml of breath.
“Investigation revealed that on the night of 13 May 2019, the accused drove to meet a friend at a restaurant located along Dempsey Road. At the restaurant, she consumed 2 glasses of wine and a glass of champagne,” said Deputy Public Prosecutor Magdalene Huang.
Tala was previously fined $3,000 for drink driving at the State Courts on 15 April 2013 and banned from driving for two years. She didn’t apply for a driving licence thereafter.
While first-time drink-driving offenders may be punished with a fine only, the punishment for repeat offenders under the Road Traffic Act is a mandatory jail term of up to one year, along with a fine of between $3,000 and $10,000.
In mitigation, Tala’s lawyer Shashi Nathan told the court that she has four children, the oldest of whom is a teenager. The case has also drawn unfortunate publicity, he said.
After meting out the sentence, District Judge Lorraine Ho allowed Tala to speak to her husband in court.
Apart from her previous drink-driving conviction, Tala had been caught for inconsiderate driving in 2004 and for careless driving in 2010. She had these offences compounded with fines.
The maximum penalty for driving without a licence is a fine of up to $1,000 or up to three months’ jail for first-time offenders. Subsequent offenders face a fine of up to $2,000 and up to six months’ jail.
Those found guilty of driving without insurance can be fined up to $1,000 and also jailed for up to three months.
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