Trinidad: Fired from refinery, Petrotrin worker ends up on DUI charge

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Trinidad: Fired from refinery, Petrotrin worker ends up on DUI charge
An aerial view of Petrotrin's refinery complex in Pointe a Pierre
An aerial view of Petrotrin’s refinery complex in Pointe a Pierre

(TRINIDAD EXPRESS) – AN ELECTRICIAN at State-owned Petrotrin who was charged with drunk driving after he said he lost his job, was on Thursday placed on a bond to keep the peace for a year.

On Tuesday, Petrotrin announced plans to end its oil refining operations at Pointe-a-Pierre. Hundreds are expected to be without work.

As he faced the Siparia Court on Thursday, Jamal Scope told magistrate Margaret Alert, “I was working Petrotrin but I got laid off yesterday.”

Police prosecutor Sheldon Salazar told the court that at 10.20 p.m. on Wednesday, Scope was stopped during a police road check along the SS Erin Road in Siparia. His driving documents were found to be valid but while speaking to Scope, the officer noticed a strong scent of alcohol on his breath. Scope told him, “I had some beers.”

He made no objection to breath tests being done and it was found he had a reading of 82 microgrammes – 47 microgrammes over the 35 microgramme limit.

Defence attorney Ramnarine Soorjansingh told the court that Scope, 38 and a father of two, worked as an electrician at Petrotrin.

He said no-one would want to lose his or her job. “In view of what happened, it led to him doing something he would not normally do.”

Soorjansingh said Scope regretted the incident and added, “He is not in a state of mind anybody would want to be at this stage … Just 38 years and being in this position … He doesn’t what will happen.”

Scope had no previous convictions.

Alert said that while she understood his frustration, his funds should be used toward his children and not for lawyers, jail or bail.

She placed Scope on a $5,000 bond to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for 12 months. Should he breach the bond, he will be sentenced for the offence.

Outside the courthouse, following Scope’s court appearance, a woman associated with him used expletives toward a member of the media.

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