The doctor who examined motorist Omesh Ramnarain after he crashed into two cyclists in February 2016, found that he was “moderately drunk”.
Addington Hospital’s Dr Mtheteli Ndlangisa took the stand in Ramnarain’s culpable homicide trial, on Tuesday.
In his plea statement, Ramnarain said he was not under the influence of alcohol at the time of the fatal crash.
But Ndlangisa on Tuesday told the court that the then 32-year-old’s face and eyes were red. His tongue was dry, the doctor said, and his pupils’ reaction to light was delayed.
His conclusion that morning, Ndlangisa said, was that Ramnarain was “moderately drunk”.
On Monday, a witness who was at the scene also said Ramnarain smelt of alcohol.
And the Accident Combatting Unit’s Warrant Officer Bongani Gasa, who was also at the scene and also took the stand on Tuesday, said the same thing.
Ramnarain’s advocate, Murray Pitman, on Tuesday put it to Ndlangisa that as per his own report, his client had not displayed several of the other indicators of drunkenness.
His speech and walking was normal, Pitman said, and there were no signs of nystagmus - repetitive, uncontrolled movements in his eyes - or problems involving his balance.
He also pointed to research which suggested that many Asian men had a “genetic feature”, which left them flushed and with a rapid heart beat, after consuming just a small amount of alcohol.
The trial continues.