Phew of relief for Constable Jean Marie Babet. The 26-year-old police officer had been prosecuted for drunk driving under section 123 of the Road Traffic Act.
His colleagues had discovered him unconscious beside his motorcycle on the road leading to Grande Montagne, Rodrigues, after a road accident in 2017.
An examination of his blood sample by the laboratory in Mauritius concluded that the constable had 54 milligrams of alcohol in his blood.
During the trial, several police officers were called to the witness stand. However, Constable Babet’s lawyer, Me Erickson Mooneapillay, pleaded that the officer’s colleagues had taken the sample of his blood without his consent and without even the approval of the attending physician. The lawyer told the court that there was a procedural flaw in the taking of the defendant’s blood sample.
In a ruling handed down last week, the Rodrigues court upheld Me Erickson Mooneapillay’s pleas, and the constable was acquitted.