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Just how much wine did ex-Joo Chiat MP Chan Soo Sen consume?

Posted on 01 August 2013

According to science and estimates, maybe between 4 and 6 glasses.

So, the socio-political world has erupted with waves of condemnation once again.

This time after it was reported that ex-PAP MP of Joo Chiat Chan Soo Sen has been fined S$2,000 and disqualified from driving for a year after he pleaded guilty to drink driving. Wow that could have been another by-election.

Anyways, here are the facts:

On the evening of July 13, Chan drove to a charity event as he could not find a cab. According to him, he drank some red wine as organisers of the charity event had toasted him.

On his way home, along Cantonment Road towards the direction Outram Road, he met a police road block at 11.55pm.

Chan failed the breathalyser test at the road block. He had 50mg of alcohol per 100ml, over the legal limit of 35mg.


So what does 50mg of alcohol per 100ml mean? How many glasses of wine is that?

As our mainstream media is the best, they have decided to let the matter rest.

But not us.

So, to find out, let’s introduce science.


1. First, we need to estimate how tall and heavy is Chan Soo Sen:



Judging by these two photos, we can tell that he is quite well-fed and taller than the average Singaporean woman who stands at 160 cm.

So, he should be about 62kg and 165cm approximately.


2. Next, we use a Blood Alcohol Level (BAL) Calculator to reverse engineer the evening of wine-drinking:

Assuming the charity organisers had toasted him one glass of wine, and assuming they were merry-making at about 8pm to 9pm:



He would have 6.5 mg of alcohol per 100ml and the alcohol will have diffused by one hour. So, by 11.55pm, he would have passed the breathalyser.

So we know for sure he did not just have one glass of wine.


3. Let’s up the wine:

Assuming he had 3 glasses of wine as the toasting got intense and assuming they were merry-making at about 8pm to 9pm with 15-minute intervals between glasses of wine (giving him the benefit of the doubt with a very conservative estimation):



He would have about 37 mg of alcohol per 100ml and the alcohol will have diffused and reached below the legal limit of 35 mg by the time he hit the road block.

So we kinda can guess he did not just have three glasses of wine.


4. Let’s make him more tipsy:

Assuming he has 5 glasses of wine, with a 20 minute interval between each drink.



Voila! He would have 50 mg of alcohol diffusing through his body by the time the police stopped him 3 hours after he first started drinking.


5. Any other possible scenarios?

Yup. If he had started drinking at 8pm on the dot and had 6 glasses of wine giving himself a rest of 5 minutes between each cup, he will still hit 50mg level by the time the police stopped him 4 hours after he first started drinking.


Or he could drink 3 straight glasses of wine in a row without any intervals at the tail end of the event and went off almost right after that to drive his car. That would be about 45mg cruising through his body at 11.55pm.



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Wang Pei can be considered a new citizen of Singapore. She has been here all her life, just that her environment's changed beyond recognition.

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  • Hen Hao Xiao

    State media reported him as Ex-PAP MP in headlines. he is ex-PAP minister leh -_-