Hong Kong pop star avoids jail over drink-drive crash that wrecked his Mercedes
He must do 160 hours of community service after smashing his vehicle while nearly five times over drink-drive limit
A Hong Kong pop star has been banned from driving for two years, ordered to do 160 hours of community service, and fined HK$1,500 (US$190) after smashing his Mercedes-Benz in a drink-driving crash.
Edmond Leung Hon-man, 46, was nearly five times over the legal limit when he crashed his car into a private residence in Mid-Levels, at 1.50am on January 23.
The Canto-pop singer escaped injury, but his black Mercedes was seriously damaged.
A subsequent breathalyser test conducted at the scene found Leung had 104 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, against the legal limit of 22mcg/100ml. A second test at a police station less than an hour later put the measurement at 80mcg/100ml.
Under caution, Leung admitted to police that he had consumed red wine and whisky before driving the vehicle, which he subsequently crashed after driving up Garden Road, turning right on to Robinson Road, and then ramming a six-metre-long railing and the boundary wall of Garden Terrace.
Leung pleaded guilty last month to one count of careless driving and another of driving a motor vehicle with alcohol concentration in breath above the prescribed limit.
Prosecutors said Leung “failed to pay due care and attention to exercise proper control of his vehicle”.
In mitigation, the singer’s defence lawyer said the accident took place when Leung dropped his phone while driving, after having a drink with his wife. Leung recalled that he had needed to drive home because he planned to pick up his father the next morning.
The lawyer argued that his client had a good driving record, with only a fixed penalty fine in the past.
It was also revealed that although Leung had since apologised to the public in newspapers, that had not stopped him from losing advertising jobs.
Magistrate Veronica Heung Shuk-han had adjourned sentencing pending reports on the suitability of unpaid community service. She adopted a recommendation for 160 hours after receiving a positive report.
Leung was further fined HK$1,500 and banned from driving for two years.
The star did not comment outside court after the sentencing.
Careless driving is punishable by up to a HK$5,000 fine and six months’ imprisonment, while drink driving carries a maximum fine of HK$25,000 and three years’ imprisonment.