Law & Order

Control your Drink, Control your Rage. Stay Out of Jail

Beautiful Cocktails Result in a Not-So-Beautiful Car Crash

Twenty nine years old, and with a responsible job as manager of a beauty parlour in Estonia, a young lady went off the rails on a drinking spree in Monaco with her girlfriend. Cocktails at the bar set the mood followed by more cocktails at another one. Then the alcohol started to take its toll on her friend who felt queasy. The tearful twenty nine year old defendant, now facing the court, described how she escorted her friend to her own mother’s car. Without pausing to think straight, she foolishly then drove away, under the influence through Monaco. Manoeuvring drunk at about 4am she hit a parked car whose owner, noticing the dents, immediately alerted the police. Breathalyzed and detained – with sufficient alcohol registered equivalent to a bottle of spirits or two bottles of wine. Having put everyone in danger by driving in an alcoholic state she narrowly escaped immediate incarceration.

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The court was lenient and took into consideration that she had a clean record, had already spent a night in detention and had pressing management duties awaiting back in Estonia. A suspended prison sentence was deemed more appropriate. Wise not to drink on the job in her beauty parlour, wise not to drive under the influence on the roads in Monaco.

Beware Road Rage

A case of road rage outside the hotel in Monaco. A car manoeuvring in a parking space was reversing when a scooter arrived behind him. Both the car driver and scooterist descended from their vehicles, enraged. Maybe the court would not have been involved if their anger had stopped at a few choice words, some colourful exchanges with each other. But their argument flared up and became physical with the scooterist then filing a complaint. The accusation – that the driver had assaulted him and hit him in the chest and he had needed medical treatment. The defence from the driver – that it was the scooterist who had begun the threatening behaviour and that he was brandishing his phone menacingly as if to strike the driver’s car. So the driver’s claimed to have just pushed the scooterist away, not struck him.

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The court had to figure out if it was a mild case of road rage with shared blame or whether the car driver had indeed over-reacted and hit the scooterist. Two things undermined the scooterist’s complaint – a “no-show” at court and witness statements submitted very late, indeed months after, which reduced their credibility. The car-driver was lucky: the court decided to release him without any fine.

Five Glasses of Champagne and a Car Wrecked

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What a mess! Five glasses of champagne and a forty-year-old man accelerating away drunk at two in the morning. The bill paled in comparison to the full cost of the evening’s misadventure. The roundabout is confusing with all that construction by it – take care! The Belgian, tipsy under the influence of the champagne didn’t. He careened into a car that had the priority right of way. Luckily there was no serious injury but the driver whose car was hit was shaken up. First the police took a breathalyzer and established the Belgian was drunk, well over the legal limit. Add the fact that they noticed his insurance had expired a week earlier. When you drive drunk and hit another car on the road in Monaco you end up in court, and in this particular case, handcuffed, and having spent three nights in detention. Plenty of time to reflect and to make a deal with the victim to pay 35.000 euros damages for the car. That the court allowed, in respect of the civil claim at least. For the rest, the Belgian was lucky to get-off with a two-month suspended sentence and a 45 euro fine. The court obviously accepted his defence that the insurance expiring the week before was an over-sight, as he had thought it would renew automatically. Were five glasses of champagne worth over 35.000 euros compensation to settle the civil claim? The moral of the story is: don’t drink and drive in Monaco.

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