Senior immigration officer Garfield (Gary) Wong appeared in Summary Court on Wednesday, when Magistrate Grace Donalds heard closing submissions in his trial for charges arising from a traffic accident on Dec. 27, 2013.
The magistrate said she hoped to give her decision in the matter on Wednesday, Aug. 22.
Mr. Wong pleaded not guilty to careless driving, leaving the scene of an accident and driving under the influence of alcohol. A breath test conducted on Mr. Wong produced a reading of .184 after the accident; the legal limit in Cayman is .100.
Crown counsel Scott Wainwright submitted that all three charges had been made out and he detailed evidence in support of his position. Defense attorney Dennis Brady responded, referring to what he said were weaknesses or contradictions in the Crown’s case.
One of the issues has been the reliability of the Intoxilyzer device used to measure Mr. Wong’s level of alcohol-in-blood. Another was the procedure used in administering the test and whether legal requirements were met.
On the question of whether Mr. Wong was driving carelessly, Mr. Wainwright pointed to the defendant’s admission that he had bent down to pick up his phone from the floor of his truck. Mr. Brady countered that his client’s evidence was that he checked his rear view mirror and checked the road in front of him before retrieving his phone, so he did take the precautions a prudent driver would take.
Mr. Brady described the accident as a sideswipe, not a head-on collision, and noted Mr. Wong’s evidence that he believed he had hit a pothole or road marker and therefore did not stop. The accident reconstructionist had concluded that the other vehicle had come over the center line into the path of Mr. Wong’s truck.
Trial began in January 2017 and evidence, including that of expert witnesses, concluded in April this year. Closing submissions were to have been made on May 23, but Mr. Wainwright was obliged on short notice to be in Grand Court, which takes precedence over Summary Court.