Worker faces $500,000 bill after drunk crash

  • Changing lives: drunk crash changed two lives (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    Changing lives: drunk crash changed two lives (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

An expatriate worker could face a bill of $500,000 after he hit a motorcyclist while drunk behind the wheel, he revealed yesterday.

The worker, who wishes to remain anonymous, said he was so drunk he could not remember the crash and only realised he had seriously injured a man on a bike when he was handcuffed and put in the back of a police car.

Mr A said: “If I could go back, I definitely wouldn’t have got into that car.”

He added: “I couldn’t say what had happened in court because I was far too drunk when it happened.”

His car swerved into the opposite lane and smashed into a man on a motorbike, which left the biker with injuries that needed major surgery.

Mr A was later banned from driving for three years and fined $3,500 for the offence.

He said the court sentence was just the beginning because his decision to drink too much and drive had caused him severe financial and emotional problems, as well as difficulty in getting transport or car insurance.

The victim of his irresponsible action has also sued for damages that could run into hundreds of thousands of dollars, which has left him unable to travel home to see family or go on vacation.

Mr A said: “This was a few years ago now, but I am still paying lawyers; it is still ongoing.

“The guy wants to sue me because he can’t work any more. So far, I have had to pay out about $30,000 including fines and lawyers’ fees.

He added: “Trying to live with yourself, that’s the hard part. I don’t think people realise the repercussions of what can happen if you drink and drive and get into an accident.

“I had to go and see a counsellor about it. I couldn’t sleep at night worrying about the other guy. Then, when it came to an insurance claim, they only paid the minimum.

“Because I was off the road for driving under the influence, they refuse to insure me. I’m proof that it does all come back to haunt you.”

He said he welcomed news that the Progressive Labour Party had passed legislation to introduce breath test checkpoints on the island’s roads.

He explained: “It will stop people who go to Front Street after work, drink for three hours and think, ‘I’ll just get in my car, no one’s going to stop me’.

“With breath testing they won’t need a reason to pull you over. It should have been done a long time ago.”

Mr A added: “Alternatives are key, the guy can’t be bothered to get a taxi if he has to stand at a rank for hours and the taxi might not even come. That is a big reason why people do it — convenience.

“Where I lived in the UK, every night they would run buses to get everyone home so they wouldn’t drink and drive. Stuff like that needs to be done, definitely.”

Mr A said that he had learnt his lesson and has signed his name on a safe driving pledge wall launched by car dealer Auto Solutions in February.

Mr A added: “Just think about the repercussions before you do it. Your job might involve having to drive every day and if you are banned from driving, you can’t provide for your family.

“The more people I can put off doing it, the better.

“If it does come down to the court ruling, I might have to pay $500,000 over the next 40 years.”

He added: “It has definitely had an impact on other people because I like to tell people this is why you don’t drink and drive.

“I have had to stop friends from getting in their car and tell them ‘listen, it’s not worth it’.”

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Published Jul 20, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Jul 19, 2018 at 10:33 pm)

Worker faces $500,000 bill after drunk crash

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