The son of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga was yesterday fined Sh 30,000 by a Nairobi court after he pleaded guilty to the offence drunk driving.
Fidel Castro Odinga was, however, not present in court to take his plea but sent his lawyer to represent him.
Prosecutor Noah Chemweno informed Senior Principal Magistrate Elisha Cherono of the traffic court that Fidel was driving landrover KBM 206 B on Ngong Road on Friday when he was flagged down by traffic and National Transport and Safety Authority officers at around 12 am on suspicion that the driver of the vehicle was drunk.
Chemweno told court that when the accused was subjected to the alcoblow test, the gadget indicated he had consumed 0.96 mgl which was above the recommended limit of 0.35 mgl. He was later arrested and taken to Muthaiga Police Station where he spent the night until he was released on Saturday morning after paying Sh20,000 cash bail.
However, the prosecutor informed the court that the accused was a first-time offender since there were no previous records of such an offence.
His lawyer Kihang’a Mwangi in mitigation pleaded with the court to be lenient with his client since he was a first-time offender and was remorseful of the offence.
“My client is indeed remorseful of the incident and on his behalf, I urge the court to demonstrate leniency by giving him an option of a fine,” Mwangi said.
However in his judgement, the magistrate noted that the offence the accused was facing is among the major causes of road accidents.
“The offence the accused is facing cannot be taken lightly as it has in the past and continues to be a major cause of road accidents in the country both during the day and at night,” the magistrate stated. He directed the accused to pay a fine of Sh 30,000 for pleading guilty to the offence.
Fidel joins a growing list of prominent personalities who have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. Among those arrested previously are a judge and a Senator.
In January a High Court judge was allowed to go scot free after being stopped for the alcohol test, where he was found to be over the limit. The judge was arrested at a check point on Ngong Road as he drove towards Karen shortly before midnight.
In a related incident nominated in March Senator Joy Gwendo was among 36 drivers who were arrested by police during a weekend operation in different parts of Nairobi.
Police crackdown on drink-driving is here to stay after the High Court yesterday ruled that alcoblow will remain in use after dismissing two cases filed by a bar owner and city motorist.