Further to my earlier blog posted on 14th January 2019, which can be found here, Ms Katie Price was convicted of being drunk whilst in charge of a motor vehicle after a trial on 25th February 2019.
It is reported that Ms Price also faced an alternative, more serious charge of drink driving after CCTV footage was presented at court. However, the judge ruled that the CCTV footage could not be relied upon as evidence due to late disclosure as it had only been provided to the defence on the morning of the trial. Therefore, the judge found that there was no case to answer for the drink driving charge as there was no evidence of who had been driving the vehicle prior to the police arriving.
With the alleged reading of 69 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, if Ms Price had been convicted of drink driving she would have been subject to a much lengthier disqualification. Based on the sentencing guidelines, Ms Price could have faced a disqualification between 17 – 22 months as well as a fine or community order.
The court heard that when two police officers approached the vehicle, Ms Price was in the back of the vehicle and her boyfriend, Mr Kris Boyson, was in the front passenger seat. Ms Price and Mr Boyson both stated that Mr Boyson’s friend was the driver but he had run away. However, neither Ms Price or Mr Boyson provided the name of the alleged driver.
Instead, Ms Price was convicted of the lesser charge of being drunk whilst in charge of a motor vehicle after the judge found that she was not a “plausible or credible witness” and the judge did not have “any degree of confidence” in some parts of Ms Price’s evidence. To convince the court that she was not guilty of being ‘drunk in charge’ of a motor vehicle, Ms Price would have needed to persuade the court that there was no possibility of her driving whilst still over the prescribed limit.
In line with the sentencing guidelines, the judge could have sentenced Ms Price to either a disqualification or ten penalty points together with a fine. The judge sentenced Ms Price to a three month driving disqualification, a £1,500 fine and £925 for court costs totalling £2,425. Due to Ms Price being convicted after a trial, she would not have received any credit for an early guilty plea. This three month driving disqualification will run alongside the three month driving disqualification imposed on 9th January 2019 but will have the effect of lengthening Ms Price’s time off the road.
At Stephensons we have a specialist motoring team who are able to advise and assist with motoring offences. To discuss your case please call our team on 0175 321 6399.