Singapore

Bus driver gets 15 months’ jail for drinking on the job

An SBS Transit bus driver who drank alcohol on the job and nodded off at the wheel while he was ferrying passengers was sentenced to 15 months' jail yesterday.

Nagibullah Raja Saleem, now 28, was also disqualified from driving for 10 years and fined $1,000.

The court heard that the married man had been depressed and snapped after his ex-girlfriend threatened to take her life on June 29 last year, the day of the incident.

His lawyer, Mr Richard Siaw, said in mitigation that his client had shown good conduct and was also once featured in a publicity video by the Land Transport Authority.

Nagibullah comes from a conservative family, who would have disapproved of his relationship with his non-Indian, foreigner girlfriend.

When his family matchmade him with a woman from India, he broke up with his girlfriend, who took it badly and started stalking him, said the lawyer.

On the day of the incident, she met him for lunch and gave him an ultimatum - leave his wife or she would kill herself, Mr Siaw said.

District Judge Kenneth Yap, while noting that Nagibullah was not a habitually bad driver, said that this was no excuse.

He added: "It takes one action to create damage or massive loss of lives."

Nagibullah was found with 84 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

This is more than two times the prescribed limit.

He pleaded guilty to one count each of driving in a rash manner, drink driving and using a mobile communication device while the bus was moving.

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