Hong Kong - Ketamine-fueled taxi driver jailed after terror trip

By enquirewithin · May 14, 2010 · Updated May 17, 2010 · ·
  1. enquirewithin
    View attachment 14666 A taxi driver who drove while under the influence of drugs just 18 days after being bailed on another drug-driving charge has been jailed for 18 months. Chan Hon-hoi, 29, who had 40 previous traffic convictions, yesterday also had his license suspended for two years and was ordered to take a driving improvement course.

    In addition, a two-week suspended sentence he was given for a previous drug offense was added to his term of imprisonment. District Court Judge Stephen John Geiser said Chan had an "extremely poor traffic record" and was putting public safety at risk. He had three previous convictions for the possession of dangerous drugs, the court heard.

    Chan had earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of driving under the influence of drugs as well as two counts of possessing dangerous drugs.

    On January 20 this year, three passengers boarded his taxi at Hung Hom railway station.

    After stopping suddenly at a green light and then at a red one later on, the two backseat passengers became scared and got out when Chan stopped near Whampoa Garden in Hung Hom.

    However, when the front-seat female passenger handed Chan a HK$100 note and opened the door to alight, he drove off, forcing the terrified woman to jump from the moving taxi.

    He continued driving for a short distance before crashing into a railing.

    When police arrived, Chan admitted taking ketamine the night before, and tests showed his blood contained 0.47 micrograms of the d

    rug per 100 milliliters.

    Chan had been arrested on January 2 for driving his taxi into a lamppost on Beacon Hill Road in Kowloon Tong.

    There were no passengers in the vehicle at the time, but Chan was trapped in the driver's seat.

    He was later conveyed to hospital and found to have taken drugs.

    Chan was released on police bail pending further inquiries.

    Legislator-cum-barrister Ronny Tong Ka-wah said it appeared Judge Geiser had been too lenient in suspending Chan's driving license for two years.

    "Considering that Chan is a taxi driver and was found driving under the influence of drugs, I think it would not be too harsh for the judge to suspend his license for a longer period or even permanently," Tong said.

    In response to the sentence, the Transport and Housing Bureau said the government is now studying overseas models on how to identify drivers who have taken drugs and increasing penalties may be an option.

    Separately, a 23-year-old truck driver was arrested for drug- driving early yesterday. He was stopped on Fan Kam Road in Fan Ling at around 5.30am.

    Police said the driver had been acting suspiciously and there were traces of white powder around his nose.

    Officers later found two grams of ketamine in his vehicle.

    The driver was later charged with drug-driving and possession of a dangerous drug.

    He was detained by police overnight for questioning.

    Under the Road Traffic Ordinance, those who drive under the influence of drink or drugs can face a maximum fine of HK$25,000 and three years in jail.

    Patsy Moy | Friday, May 14, 2010



  1. enquirewithin
    Twelve cases of drug-driving were reported in the first two months of the year, nearly double the seven incidents last year. Police released the data as a truck driver was arrested on suspicion of drug-driving and a taxi driver with 40 traffic convictions was jailed for 18 months for the offence yesterday.

    The arrest was made when the truck was intercepted at a police road block for a routine inspection outside Hong Kong Golf Club in Fan Kam Road, Sheung Shui, at about 5.30am yesterday.

    The 23-year-old driver had white powder in his nostrils and was dazed, police said.

    A police spokeswoman said two packets - containing two grams of an illegal drug, believed to be ketamine - were seized in the truck and on the driver. The drugs have a street value of HK$200.

    She said the driver was arrested on suspicion of drug-driving and possession of an illegal drug. The driver was sent to North District Hospital for examination before being taken to Tai Po police station for questioning.

    He was detained at the police station and no charges have been laid.

    Meanwhile, a taxi driver who prompted a passenger to jump from his moving taxi because he was driving erratically after taking ketamine was jailed yesterday for 18 months and banned from driving for two years. The driver was on bail for drug-driving 18 days earlier.

    The judge said a driver of public vehicle who drove under the influence of drugs must expect a severe sentence because the offence compromised public safety, which was paramount.

    Cabbie Chan Hon-hoi, 29, who was convicted of two counts of driving under the influence of drugs and two counts of using a dangerous drug, ketamine, was also ordered to take a driving improvement course by District Court Judge Stephen John Geiser.

    The court heard that Chan, who had 40 traffic convictions, picked up a passenger on January 20 after he had taken ketamine the night before. He stopped the taxi unnecessarily at a green light and later ran a red light.

    Two passengers got out of the taxi when Chan stopped it near Whampoa Garden in Hung Hom.

    But when the front-seat passenger gave Chan a HK$100 note and opened the door to alight, Chan ignored her and drove off.

    The passenger jumped from the moving taxi, shortly before it crashed into a railing.

    Chan was involved in another drug-driving case on January 2, in which he drove his taxi into a lamp post on Beacon Hill Road in Kowloon Tong. The taxi was seriously damaged in the crash.

    The judge chided Chan for his "extremely poor" traffic record - he head been disqualified from driving four times previously.

    Chan had also been convicted for possession of drugs three times previously.

    The judge said Chan's sentence was also heavier because he had three passengers in his taxi at the time of the incident.

    Yesterday's sentence activated a suspended sentence of 14 days' imprisonment which Chan received last year for possession of a drug.

    The police spokeswoman said police were very concerned about drug-driving, but would not say how they planned to combat the problem.

    Cabbie jailed for drug-driving as cases increase
    Austin Chiu and Clifford Lo
    May 14, 2010

  2. Electric Wizard
    Do my eyes decieve me or is this man wearing a cannabis t-shirt? I know it's not a laughing matter as such, but this all sounds like something from the average stoner movie. :laugh:
  3. enquirewithin
    I noticed that too. It's tragi-comic!
  4. skunkjar
    What would cause ANYONE to think it a good plan to snort some K and go for a drive? I mean uppers I can understand, but a tranquilizer?! Why?
  5. enquirewithin
    Indeed, but why get drunk and drive car? :( Some people have no common sense!
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