Driver leaves car as surety
MBABANE – A man who appeared in court for the second time for drink-driving yesterday placed his car as surety as he did not have money to pay the fine.
Alberto Jose (40) appeared before Magistrate Siphisosini Dlamini where he pleaded guilty of contravening Section 91 of the Road Traffic Act.
Jose was arrested next to Qedusizi Primary School in Mbabane while driving a Toyota Venture on Saturday.
He was also charged with resisting arrest in that he ran away from the police when they wanted to arrest him.
"Your Worship I am not a first offender as I was in the same court two months ago for the same offence. I intend placing my vehicle as surety while I try to raise the money for the fine," he said.
Jose said during the day in question, he was from attending a party where he drank a fruit punch juice.
Jose, who conducted his own defence, said he was not aware that the juice he was drinking was alcoholic.
He further said after his first arrest, he stopped taking alcoholic beverages.
"I decided to escape from the police because I was aware that I had done something wrong.
"I plead that the court be lenient as I have children and a wife who stand to suffer irreparable harm should the court decide to give me a custodial sentence," he said.
In passing sentence Magistrate Dlamini said he would treat Jose as a first offender as no records had been presented in court to prove that he was a second time offender.
"You are sentenced to 15 months imprisonment with an option of a E1 500 fine for drink-driving and for resisting arrest you are sentenced to five months imprisonment with an option of a E500 fine," he said.
The judicial officer ordered that Jose’s car be kept by the police as per his request until he pays the fine.
The magistrate also ordered that he submits his blue book to the police on Monday.
Appearing for the Crown was Thabo Dlamini while Jose conducted his own defence.
‘Car ran out of fuel’
MBABANE – A drink-driving suspect who was arrested for being found seated in the driver’s seat yesterday said his car had run out of fuel.
Nkululeko Bhembe was found by the police seated in the driver’s seat at Sidwashini in Mbabane over the weekend.
When the magistrate asked him why he was seated in the driver’s seat knowing he was under the influence of liquor he said he was not aware that it was an offence to do so.
"Your Worship, I was not aware this was an offence. I have been driving for 15 years and it is my first time to be arrested for such an offence," he said.
Bhembe also made an undertaking not to commit a similar offence again because he had learnt a lesson.
In passing sentence, the magistrate said ignorance of the law was not an excuse as the law was clear that a person should not be found on the driver’s seat while under the influence of alcohol.
"The court finds you guilty as charged and you are sentenced to 10 months imprisonment with an option of a E1 000 fine," the magistrate said. The court also ordered that Bhembe be refunded his E500 as after his arrest he paid E1 500 bail.
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