Man drives 12km against traffic on PIE from Paya Lebar to airport, gets 8 weeks’ jail

He said he was feeling sleepy after drinks and also had an eye condition.

Khine Zin Htet | November 20, 2023, 01:45 PM



After drinking multiple glasses of beer with friends, a man in Singapore drove his red Mitsubishi Outlander home while feeling sleepy.

The man, Aswani Daryanani Mohit Riz, 27, then drove against traffic flow along the Pan Island Expressway (PIE) for about 12km.

He entered from Paya Lebar Road and drove all the way to Aiport Boulevard, where he made a U-turn and turned on his navigation to go back to his Marine Crescent home.

A member of the public saw him driving against traffic flow and reported it to the police.

Drove against flow of traffic for 12km

According to a judgment made publicly available on Nov. 18, 2023, Aswani, a Permanent Resident in Singapore, was arrested and pleaded guilty to dangerous driving.

Investigations revealed that Aswani drove his car to Golden Mile Tower in May. 30, 2022, sometime after midnight, to meet with friends to eat and drink.

He then drank multiple glasses of beer and left Golden Mile Tower around 3:45am.

Despite feeling very sleepy, Aswani decided to drive home in his car.

At about 4:03am, he drove his car against traffic flow onto the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) (towards Tuas) via the slip road to Paya Lebar Road.

He continued driving against the flow of traffic for about 12 km along the PIE (Tuas) towards the East Coast Parkway.

Although he was aware that he was driving against the flow of traffic, he did not stop or reduce his driving speed.

Surveillance cameras showed he drove past more than 40 different vehicles, including cars, motorcycles, vans and lorries against the flow of traffic.

The other road users were forced to take evasive action by veering away from Aswani's car, filtering lanes, or braking to avoid a collision with him.

He also veered between lanes, often driving in lane one — the fastest lane.

He finally joined the normal traffic flow when he made a U-turn along Airport Boulevard after entering the East Coast Parkway (ECP).

He then used the navigational application “Waze” to drive back to his house at Marine Crescent and arrived home after 4am.

Breathalyser still show amber 10 hours after incident

A member of the public called the Police to report a car driving against the flow of traffic at about 4:06am on the day of the incident, May. 30, 2022.

The member of the public mistook Aswani's car to be a "black Mercedes".

Almost 10 hours after the incident, Aswani was arrested at about 2:50pm at his workplace near City Hall.

Two consecutive breathalyser tests were conducted on him using a handheld breathalyser device at about 2:47pm.

The first reading was unsuccessful, while the second reading returned an amber screen, indicating that alcohol was present but under the pre-configured threshold breath alcohol level.

A Breath Analysing Device (BAD) test was conducted on him from 4:46pm to 5pm. The test returned a reading of 1 microgramme of alcohol in 100ml of breath, below the legal limit of 35 microgrammes.

Twenty-eight video clips analysed by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) estimated that Aswani drove between 47km per hour and 91km per hour along PIE.

"Merely fortuitous" no one injured: Prosecution

The prosecution sought a sentence of between four to eight weeks imprisonment and three to four years disqualification from driving for all classes of driving licence.

The prosecutors highlighted that the case was egregious as Aswani drove against traffic for a substantial distance of 12km and that he had spent periods of his journey on the "fastest lane", causing an "exceptionally high risk of harm', especially to the 40 vehicles he passed by.

They said it was "merely fortuitous" that no one was injured.

The prosecution also pointed out that Aswani chose to drive despite being sleepy after drinking and could have stopped along the way, but he chose not to and "persisted in his dangerous conduct".

Accused has an eye condition: Defence

The defence asked the judge to sentence Aswani to "a short imprisonment term" of one week and 24 months of driving disqualification.

The defence argued that Aswani was not intoxicated but went the wrong way "because he was unfamiliar with the roads in Singapore".

Aswani panicked when he realised he was going in the opposite direction but struggled to find the right way, as his "confusion" was exacerbated by his eye condition called Keratoconus.

They said he underwent a medical procedure two months before the incident and still suffers from a slight impairment of his vision, especially at low levels of light.

On explaining why Aswani drove on the "fastest lane", the defence pointed out that if Awani "had been driving the right way, he would have been in the slowest lane".

The defence said Aswani "believed that the vehicles in that lane would travel at a slower speed, reducing the risk of danger".

Drank, sleepy and had eye condition, yet he drove: Judge

Aswani was sentenced to eight weeks imprisonment and three years of disqualification from driving from the date of his release.

The judge agreed that the risk of harm from Aswani's action was exceptionally high.

She also highlighted that he had driven against the flow of traffic for 12km and had driven dangerously for almost an hour.

The judge did not accept the defence's explanation of why Aswani drove on the fastest lane.

"The fact remains that he had driven in the rightmost lane where other motor vehicles travelling in the right direction would be at a speed higher than the average speed on a normal road," he said.

She also noted that the BAD test was administered about 12 hours after the incident and that it was "unsurprising that his level of alcohol was not reflective of the amount of alcohol in his body when he drove home".

The judge also did not think that Aswani's eye condition was a mitigating factor but instead was aggravating.

"In the present case, the accused had elected to drive despite having had drinks, was feeling sleepy and having an impairment in his vision."

Aswani has filed an appeal against the sentence.

For dangerous driving, he could have been imposed a fine not exceeding S$5,000 or sentenced to jail for a term not exceeding 12 months or both.

Top photo from Google Maps & Mothership