SINGAPORE — Ex-Mediacorp actor Shane Pow was jailed five weeks and fined $6,000 on Wednesday (14 July) after pleading guilty to drink driving – his second such conviction in seven years.
Pow, whose legal name is Pow Xun Ping, was also disqualified from driving for five years.
The 30-year-old drank two bottles of beer at a Korean restaurant on 17 September last year before driving a van to drop off two friends and picking up another friend.
When he was stopped by police for checks, a breath test revealed that he had 49 microgrammes of alcohol in every 100ml of breath, 14 microgrammes above the prescribed limit.
Mediacorp "parted ways" with Pow after his outstanding work with the company was completed on 4 May. He was "retrenched" following "adverse publicity", his lawyer S S Dhillon told the court. Dhillon added that Pow had started an online food retail business with some friends – “Sibay Shiok” was incorporated in August 2020.
“The accused is sincerely remorseful… he had no intention whatsoever to drink and drive. In fact, he had only drunk to appease his friend as it was his birthday. His friend had insisted that the accused share a drink with him and out courtesy, the accused could not refuse,” Dhillon said.
Pow had previously been convicted of drink driving, also under the Road Traffic Act, on 30 July 2014 and was fined $1,500. He was also disqualified from driving for a year. Repeat drink driving offenders face a mandatory jail term of up to two years and a fine of between $5,000 and $20,000.
Asked if he had anything to say before his court hearing, Pow, dressed in a blue long-sleeved shirt and black pants, simply shook his head.
Pow thought alcohol level had subsided
The court heard that on 17 September last year, at about 7pm, Pow was with two friends at a Korean restaurant along Amoy Street. He had two glasses of beer until about 8.30pm.
He chatted with his friends before leaving the restaurant at about 10.30pm. He felt sober and in control of his senses before leaving, said Dhillon, who added that Pow had thought the alcohol in his blood would have subsided.
“Subsequent events have proven him to be wrong. The accused realises that his judgement was completely flawed, much to his detriment,” Dhillon said.
Driving the van, Pow sent his friends home at Tiong Bahru before heading to Bugis to pick up another friend.
While on the way home – a one-bedroom rental condominium – he was stopped along Java Road towards Nicoll Highway for checks at about 11.20pm.
A traffic police officer observed that Pow “reeked” of alcohol, according to the prosecution. The officer conducted a breathalyser test on Pow and the result showed “fail”. Pow was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and he was escorted to Traffic Police headquarters for a breath-analysing device test.
The test, conducted at about 12.10am on 18 September, showed that there was 49 microgrammes of alcohol in every 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes of alcohol per 100ml of breath.
The prosecution, represented by Deputy Public Prosecutor Goh Yong Ngee, sought five weeks’ jail, a fine of $6,000, along with five years of disqualification from driving for the repeated offence.
Dhillon requested four weeks’ jail, a fine of $5,000, and the same disqualification period for his client.
“The fear he received from his arrest, police investigations, media coverage and court attendance has completely shell-shocked the accused,” said Dhillon, who added that Pow wanted to provide a good life for his parents.
"He has lost a valuable job in the entertainment industry," added Dhillon.
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