HE HAD drunk too much after a night out at two clubs but drove his female friends home anyway. Tang Zi Liang, then a Republic Polytechnic student, had obtained his driving licence just six months earlier and was driving recklessly fast though his friends repeatedly warned him to slow down.
At around 6.20am on March 13, 2014, Tang was speeding along Tampines Road at 120kmh to 140kmh when he lost control of his white Toyota.
It hit a tree and his two rear passengers, both in their teens, were flung out and killed.
Tang and his front-seat passenger were hurt.
Yesterday, Tang, 22, was given two and a half years' jail and banned from driving for 15 years for dangerous driving causing death and hurt, as well as drink driving.
He was also fined $800 for not making sure his rear seat passenger, schoolmate Michelle Phoe Min Yi, 18, wore her seat belt.
A similar charge was also considered.
The court heard that Tang was working part-time as a club promoter when he invited Ms Phoe and Phoebe Lo Wei Ling, 19, to a club known as Dream at Clarke Quay on March 12, 2014. There, Tang had two shots of vodka and a cup of Hennessy.
At about 2am, he decided to go with a female friend known as Sky and Isabella Tay Mei Na, then 18, to another club at Orchard Plaza.
The group shared a tower of beer - about 3½ jugs of beer - with a friend. They left at about 3am.
Deciding to give a lift home to his four friends, he first dropped Sky off in Ubi. Ms Tay moved to the front seat and put on her seat belt while Ms Lo and Ms Phoe did not.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Tan Wee Hao said shortly before 6.18am, Tang was speeding at up to 140kmh along Tampines Road. "The accused also fell asleep a few times while driving and he had to be woken up by his passengers," said the DPP.
Tang lost control of the car while navigating a slight bend along the road. The car veered across to the grass verge on the opposite side of the road.
Its right side slammed into a tree, smashing all the windows and the rear windscreen.
The impact caused the car to spin violently, flinging Ms Lo and Ms Phoe out of the rear seats.
Tang was warded for lung injuries and neck contusions. Ms Tay had multiple contusions and was given three days of medical leave.
Tang's blood alcohol level was at least 139mg/100ml, which exceeded the legal limit of 80mg/100ml.
DPP Tan said a stiff sentence was clearly warranted given the aggravating factors and loss of two lives.
He told Principal District Judge Ong Hian Sun that Tang drank and drove, and ignored the repeated warnings of his passengers.
Tang's lawyer Anil Singh said he would have to bear the life-long guilt of having played a significant role in the death of two friends. He said Tang, then 20, had sleepless nights and nightmares of the incident.
He also sought psychiatric help.
Tang could have been jailed up to five years for dangerous driving causing death.
For causing hurt through dangerous driving, he could have been fined up to $3,000, jailed for up to 12 months, or both.
For drink driving, he could have been fined up to $5,000 or jailed up to six months with at least a 12-month driving ban.
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