Thursday, 29 August 2013

Intoxicated Driving: Criminal and Civil Consequences

Q: What is the law or consequences as [it] pertains to someone driving under the influence of alcohol and [the] passenger dies... what happens to the diver possibly? – by Shoma


70. (1) Any person who, when driving or attempting to drive or when in charge of a motor vehicle on a road, is under the influence of drink or a drug to such an extent as to be incapable of having proper control of the vehicle, is liable on first conviction to a fine of eight thousand dollars and to imprisonment for three years and on any subsequent conviction to a fine of fifteen thousand dollars and to imprisonment for five years.

(2) A person convicted of—
(a) two consecutive offences under this section shall, unless the Court for special reasons thinks fit to order otherwise and without prejudice to the power of the Court to order a longer period of disqualification, be disqualified for a period of three years from the date of the conviction from holding or obtaining a driving permit; and
(b) a third conviction for a like offence, shall be permanently disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving permit.


Civil: As a driver, a duty of care is owed to both passengers and pedestrians. As a result, the driver will be held liable for any injuries or death as a result of his drunken driving. However, the driver can rely on the defence of Contributory Negligence to reduce the amount of damages according to the Trinidad & Tobago case: Gunness v Ramdeo (2001)

Also, according to the Limitation of Certain Actions Act 1997, asamended, the injured person or the family of the deceased, must bring a claim within 4 years...
·         5(2)(a) from the date of tort
·         5(2)(b) from the date the injury was noticed
·         5(3)(a) from the date of death

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello there is it a legal obligation for all parties concerned in a vehicular accident to be subjected to blood/alcohol tests? I ask because in a recent incident only one of the two parties was subject to this recently.

Trinbago Rights said...

Drivers, not passengers.

Anon said...

Recently I saw some guys liming and the police was literally bullying the owner of the car, he was intoxicated and the police asked him how he reach he said his wife was driving. So I asked why he is questioning the the guy because he was parked and he had a designated driver. The onlookers told me not to say anything cause when I said it the police heard me and they said I am obstructing the law, I could be arrested. Is that true?

Trinbago Rights said...

Of course not... that's ridiculous.

warren thomas said...

is that even legal what about freedom of speech

Trinbago Rights said...

I have no idea why you were arrested. Were you taken to jail and charged with something?

warren thomas said...

yes i was charged with resisting arrest,obstruction of justice and behaving in a disorderly manner

Anonymous said...

Good day, recently I was caught going up a one way rd by mistake. Police saw and stopped me.i was on my way home, the police however did not want to hear and acted very aggressively towards me.i was taken to the station where they continued their "unruly" behavior. I responded to this and used obscene language after the fact that I was slapped in the face. Thereafter, they breathalysed me and I blew and the machine came up unreadable for some reason. I did not proceed to take another blow cause my first was sufficient enough. In the court I plead guilty to obscene language and not guilty to drinking and driving. The magistrate then read out to me that because of the unreadable test , I would have to reappear in court.what is it can I do to help my situation in the court?

Trinbago Rights said...

Without evidence, that charge cannot stick.

Anonymous said...

Does a drink driving charge affect or appear on a Police Certificate of good character?

Unknown said...

Is it possible to have a DUI charge expunged from your record?

Anonymous said...

Hi I worked as a pump attendant/supervisor at a Gas Station. we worked for $18 per hour 13hrs 4 days a week we made more than 40 hrs. Our employer paid no vacation if u take vacation time we will not b laid for it and said also over time will be paid once our hours cross 70. We were told that this was because we were already being paid above minimum wage. Is this legal? Also we sign no contract or any thing

Smile said...

Can you be charged for driving under the speed limit

Trinbago Rights said...

Those drivers should be charged for impeding traffic. In most US states (where I have my license) the law is along the lines of:

"No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation."