52 year-old Tan Gak Hin was drinking with his friends in the early hours of 23 February when a member of public called the police at 2.25AM to complain about “someone shouting around the vicinity for the past half an hour.”

A police officer dispatched to the scene found Tan and 4 other men drinking at Bishan Street 24. He booked them for breaching the new liquor control law and told them to dispose of the beer.

Tan pleaded guilty to drinking during prohibited hours between 10.30PM and 7AM. Tan was charged under the Liquor Control Act, which came into force on 1 April last year, and was ordered to pay a composite fine of S$1000 for 2 offences prior to the current charge.

He is the first person to be charged under the new law.

Tan told the court he had been on his way home when he bumped into his friends and decided to join them for a drink. He had been frustrated with his family and was facing financial problems, he told the court, pleading for a lenient sentence. “I did not mean to break the law,” he added.

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