On trial for having forced a roadblock on October 22, 2015

A 57-year-old man has appeared before the Criminal Court for driving after drinking and for acts of violence, specifically forcing a roadblock.

On October 22, 2015 roadblocks are erected in Marigot to contest against the Local Urbanism Plan. It is impossible to drive in and out of Marigot with a car. In the afternoon, C.E. who had already tried in the morning to come to Marigot, must pick up his wife downtown; a friend waits for him on the other side of the roadblock on a scooter to take him in the city. While he sees that people are behind the trashcans placed in the middle of the road, he does not stop as shown on the CCTV pictures. He states not to have wanted to rush into the roadblock. "I hit a pavement which tipped my car. I then was hit in the head and lost consciousness for a few seconds", he explained to the court. In any event, he finds himself surrounded by "a crowd" next to the roadblock. His car is the target of stone-throwing, however he  manages to go through.

In Marigot, he picks up his wife and goes to the police station to file a complaint for assault. There, the military feel a strong smell of alcohol on him. They control his blood alcohol that turns positive (0.81 mg). Then they place the man who admitted drinking four beers in the drunk tank for fifteen hours.

C.E. is charged with driving under the influence and committed violence on the roadblock by forcing his way into it. "This is a scandal", states his attorney at the hearing on Thursday. "It is outrageous that people were throwing stones on an illegal roadblock without being charged," he says, hoping that the Court of Saint Martin will not follow "the logic of justice that tolerates this type of unauthorized demonstrations" in an effort of appeasement. "Stones have been thrown on the car of my client in which were his two children of 4 and seven years old. My client just wanted to protect his family", considers the counsel.

The latter is offended as his client was accused of violence by individuals who were on the roadblocks (Nadika Stephen indeed filed a complaint against him) while his complaint has not been dealt with.

"Even if these roadblocks were illegal, it remains abnormal and forbidden to drive when we drank," considers the Deputy Prosecutor. And to highlight the risk he caused to his children as well as the hitchhiker he had picked up. The representative of the public prosecutor stated that alcohol is responsible for his behavior, without drinking he would not have sought to go forward and would have turned around like everyone else.

Prosecutors requested fifteen days of jail suspended sentence, driving prohibition for two months and a fine of 200 euros. The judgment has been adjourned to March 2.

Estelle Gasnet
5 commentaires


What you have omitted is that the Dr inspected the defendant found no signs of alcoholism out of more than 20 checks. Also the lawyer found out that the laboratory in St Martin is not accredited nor is the local biologist and nor is the biologist in France who did the second test. The implication is that all tests done by the lab for the gendarmerie since it changed hands about 5 years ago are contestable and possibly illegal. Spread the word.

Also the defendant mentioned that the nurse gave him fructose just before the blood was taken, it is the only compound known to man that can change the GPG/BAC. In one study it first increased the levels in 30 to 50% of people tested (up to double) and then lowers the levels in all people, great to take when you are going out for a party but potentially disastrous if taken just before a blood alcohol test. The fact that the 2nd test was 26% lower than the first is also a sign that the blood tests were very suspect; as blood decomposes it creates alcohol from enzymes and bacteria

Also of note is that the defendant went to the police station not to file a complaint but to protect his family, he only filed his complaint about a week later after he was informed of the complaints against him.

His detention in the drunk tank for 15 hours before being given his rights to a lawyer and doctor is contrary to the constitutional court's 2012 directive that such a type of detention should last no more than "a few hours". Denying the right to a lawyer and doctor of one's choice is generally not permissible by French law beyond 12 hours, if I remember correctly.

His detention in the drunk tank, without access to water either to drink, wash himself or even flush the toilet actually lasted over 19 hours in all excluding the time being interrogated. During that time he received about 50cl of water to drink and about 10 spoons of porridge in the evening then an energy drink in the morning and then only when he warned than he was about to faint. I would say that is inhumane treatment.

In addition the defendant has expressed his regrets of the events to many in the community and fully understands that, as he did, the protesters acted as all Gods creations do by either fleeing or fighting when being under attack. His beef is not with the protesters but with the local administration that let the situation spiral out of control and that allowed, AT LEAST ONE one of its citizens to be treated in such an inhumane and degrading way by some of their agents and contrary to several of France's laws.

Finally, thanks to the Lucky Stars and the many Angels that so saved many from serious harm that day