How irritated would you be having arrived at a restaurant on time, having pre-booked a table, and then you were asked to wait a considerable time to be seated. Probably you would not be too happy – but would you then go and seek out the Manager and try to strangle him – not to death, of course, but enough to leave marks on his neck and force a one-day hospital visit. This was the scenario the Monaco Court was faced with when a Slavic gentleman let his temper get the better of him. And his temper tantrum was exacerbated by having imbibed an excess of alcohol on the way to dine.
The restaurant was not completely at fault because the original booking had been made for two people. But the defendant, in fact, had turned up tipsy and demanded a table for four. What he took to be a refusal was just a request to wait until a table for four came free. Fortunately, leniency ruled the day with a 10 day suspended jail sentence reduced from the one month recommended by the prosecution. A fine of 70 euros was also exacted.
Dead-Drunk at the Wheel from Party to Party
Four times over the maximum limit of alcohol in his blood, a forty-year-old Russian gentleman careered along Avenue Princess Grace. He was an accident waiting to happen in his girlfriend’s luxury German sedan. Fortunately the accident when it came was a collision with a lighted road sign and not with a pedestrian nor with another car.
The Police arrived at the scene to find him dead-drunk at the wheel but without injury. Remorse and contrition saved the defendant from the full brunt of the Prosecution’s request for jail-time. It was a narrow squeak after the Judge learned the extent of his orgy of drunkenness. Four glasses of white wine at dinner plus five gin cocktails at a concert. Then followed by more jolly clinking of glasses at a night club. Why on earth did he not call for a taxi? The defendant saw the writing on the wall and pleaded for leniency on the grounds he would give up alcohol for good.
The Court doubted he would keep his pledge in his home country. A sentence was needed that would protect people in Monaco from drunken-driving. And so the Judge put the gentleman on probation for 5 years in Monaco subject to two months immediate imprisonment if he was caught drinking within the Principality.
Twenty Glasses of Alcohol Fuel a Foolish Drive around Monaco
Yet another case of four times the legal limit of alcohol. A Frenchman in his forties crashed into a barrier in the Tunnel in Monaco. The police, swiftly on the scene, immediately smelled alcohol on his breath. Handcuffed before the Court the man pleaded personal problems and a lapse of concentration due to his portable phone ringing and distracting him. Lives are in danger when people drive drunk. This time a barrier was hit but it could have been a pedestrian. And what led the handcuffed man to jail was his prior record. Five years previously he had been arrested and sentenced twice for drunk driving. Each time had earned him three weeks detention.
The Judge was compelled to act. The drunken trail that led to the afternoon’s accident in the Tunnel started with 12 glasses of wine and spirits the prior evening. Just a short interlude in bed before starting again. At lunch shortly before the accident, two pastis, another three glasses of wine and a digestive. The defense’s argument for a stiff fine instead of imprisonment fell on deaf ears. A sentence of 15 days in jail was the Court’s decision.