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Ex-actor Shane Pow gets 5 weeks’ jail, fine and 5-year ban for second drink-driving offence

SINGAPORE — Former Mediacorp actor Shane Pow was jailed 5 weeks, fined S$6,000 and banned from driving for five years on Wednesday (July 14) for being drunk behind the wheel of his van while in the Bugis area last year.

Actor Shane Pow (right) arriving at the State Courts on April 22, 2021.

Actor Shane Pow (right) arriving at the State Courts on April 22, 2021.

  • It was the former Mediacorp artiste’s second such conviction in seven years
  • The 30-year-old was liable for enhanced punishment because of that
  • His contract was terminated after he was charged in court in April
  • His lawyer argued that he only had beer at his friend’s request, as it was the other man’s birthday
  • He was earlier fined for breaking Covid-19 laws by attending a birthday party with 12 others

 

SINGAPORE — Former Mediacorp actor Shane Pow was jailed 5 weeks, fined S$6,000 and banned from driving for five years on Wednesday (July 14) for being drunk behind the wheel of his van while in the Bugis area last year.

The 30-year-old Singaporean pleaded guilty to one count of drink-driving under the Road Traffic Act.

He began serving his jail time immediately.

It was Pow’s second drink-driving conviction, the first being in July 2014 when he was aged 23. He was fined S$2,300 for that offence, as well as for driving without due care and attention, having first gotten his licence that same year.

Repeat drink-drivers face heavier punishment including a driving ban of at least five years, up to two years’ jail and a fine of between S$5,000 and S$20,000.

On Wednesday, the court heard that leading up to Pow’s most recent offence on Sept 17 last year, he had gone out with two friends to a Korean restaurant along Amoy Street.

He drank two glasses of beer from 7pm to about 8.30pm, then stayed in the eatery drinking water and chatting with his friend.

He left in his van at about 10.30pm to give his friends a lift home to Tiong Bahru before heading to Bugis to pick up another friend.

A traffic police officer then stopped Pow along Java Road towards the direction of Nicoll Highway for routine checks at about 11.20pm.

Pow, who reeked of alcohol, failed a breathalyser test. He was placed under arrest before being taken to the Traffic Police headquarters for a breath analysing device test.

He had 49mg of alcohol per 100ml of his breath, which exceeded the prescribed driving limit of 35mg per 100ml.

After he was first charged in April, Mediacorp — which owns TODAY — terminated its contract with him, saying it was unaware of the case before it was reported in the media.  

Its decision to part ways with the actor also took into account an incident last year when the actor breached safe-distancing rules that were meant to combat Covid-19. 

In October last year, Pow attended a birthday party with 12 other people during the second phase of Singapore’s reopening after a partial lockdown to contain the virus. At that time, up to five visitors were allowed at residences.  

Fellow actor Terence Cao had hosted the party to celebrate his, Pow’s and actor Jeffrey Xu’s birthdays.

On top of receiving a S$300 composition fine over the party, Pow had faced internal disciplinary action.

'THOUGHT DRINKING WATER WOULD HELP'

The prosecution asked for at least five weeks’ jail, a S$6,000 fine and a five-year driving ban. Pow’s lawyer SS Dhillon sought four weeks’ jail, a lower fine of S$5,000 and the ban.

In mitigation, Mr Dhillon told the court that Pow went to the restaurant that evening to celebrate a friend’s birthday.

He had no intention to drink and drive but “could not refuse” his friend’s request to share a drink. He “sincerely believed” that by consuming a lot of water and not drinking alcohol for two hours before leaving, “the alcohol level in his blood would have subsided”, Mr Dhillon argued.

Pow had felt sober and in control of his senses when he left the restaurant, the lawyer added.

“Subsequent events have proven him to be wrong. The accused realises that his judgement was completely flawed much to his detriment… Nevertheless, he utterly regrets his actions and is remorseful for failing to exercise prudence and caution.”

Mr Dhillon noted that Pow has to look after his aged parents who depend on him financially and the end of his acting career has put his and their livelihoods in jeopardy. 

In order to earn extra cash, Pow started a food business last year with fellow actors, including Mr Cao, selling mee siam (spicy rice vermicelli). 

Mr Dhillon — who also represented Mr Cao in court earlier this year — said that Pow’s driving ban would adversely affect the business.

“He has lost a valuable job in the entertainment industry and he will strive hard to make amends and move on with life.”

Talent-scouted by a modelling agency, Pow was a Manhunt Singapore pageant finalist in 2011 and later made his foray into television dramas.

He was in 2014 dubbed one of the eight "Dukes of Caldecott Hill” alongside popular actors Romeo Tan, Desmond Tan, Zhang Zhenhuan, Ian Fang, Jeffrey Xu, Xu Bin and the late Aloysius Pang.

Those convicted of their first drink-driving offence can be jailed for up to a year or fined between S$2,000 and S$10,000, or both.

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Shane Pow drink driving driving ban court crime

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