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IUM student drove drunk and on drugs

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The defendant's French and Monegasque records were clean before the trial - © Monaco Tribune

His arrogant behaviour irritated the judge on the day of the hearing, on 13 February.

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After the deaths of two pupils at the school just a few weeks ago, the magistrates are at a loss to explain to the defendants who appear before them every Tuesday that they should not get behind the wheel if they have been drinking or taking drugs.

The young Frenchman in the dock on Tuesday 13 February had tested positive for both. Police offiers spotted his erratic driving at around 3.30 am on October 19, 2023, and immediately arrested him. “You had the nerve to dispute the use of narcotics,” the court president reminded him as he read the defendant’s statement. In it, he swore that his positive test for cannabis was due to passive smoke he had allegedly inhaled during a trip to Spain.

On the evening in question, the student had gone to the Sass Café and was driving to a friend’s house.“I wanted to call a taxi but there was no answer, so I took the car,” he said, stating that he had drunk shots, champagne, and cocktails. “Did you know the young people who died recently?”  asked the president. “Yes.”

Suspended prison sentence

Stress-related? The 19-year-old’s attitude at the hearing was described by the prosecutor as “obnoxious.” “Two people from his school recently lost their lives in a car accident in Monaco because of drink driving, but apparently that is not enough. On top of that, the gentleman was carrying three passengers and driving at 90 kph instead of 50.”  The Public Prosecutor’s Office demanded 15 days in prison with a suspended sentence, a €500 fine and a one-year suspension of his driving licence.

A sentence that defence lawyer Campana considered “tough”. “My client should not shoulder blame for past deaths. His casual behaviour is due to anxiety about being here today. You will have noticed that he has shown more respect as the hearing has gone on. He pleaded guilty, but it is possible to test positive for cannabis because of passive smoke,” the lawyer claimed, citing a study. “He won’t do it again, he’s not a bad person, being in custody was very hard on him. In fact he lost his delivery job because he did not show up for work. May the court note that he does not come from a wealthy family and that his mother has sacrificed a lot to pay for his studies so that he can realise his dream of making it big in finance in Monaco. I would ask for your decision not to jeopardize his future career, and that this conviction is not entered into his criminal record.”

After deliberation, the court followed the public prosecutor’s request and granted the exemption from the criminal record.