It is reported that Katie Price was sentenced on 9th January 2019 to a three months driving disqualification as well as fined a total of £1,295, which includes the fine, costs and a victim surcharge, after pleading guilty to driving whilst disqualified and driving with no insurance.
These offences stemmed from a six month driving disqualification that was imposed in February 2018 after Ms Price accumulated 12 or more penalty points within a three year period. This is also known as a disqualification under the totting up provisions.
Based on the sentencing guidelines, it appears that Ms Price was sentenced on the basis of the lowest category, category 3, suggesting that no factors indicating higher culpability or greater harm were present.
However, driving whilst disqualified is considered as a serious motoring offence as in some circumstances a custodial sentence, as well as an 18 month disqualification (extended if imposing immediate custody), can be imposed.
Allegedly, Ms Price was caught speeding at 60mph in a 50mph zone in June 2017 and after receiving paperwork which she did not respond to, she was charged with failing to furnish information under section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. Based on the sentencing guidelines, for a speed of 60mph in a 50mph zone, the sentence is three penalty points and a fine but for failing to furnish information, the sentence is six penalty points and a fine.
If Ms Price had responded to the initial paperwork for the speeding matter, depending on how many points she had on her licence at the time, she may have been able to avoid a disqualification under the totting up provisions. This is because she was sentenced to six penalty points for failing to furnish instead of three for the speeding.
This highlights the importance of seeking legal advice from the outset when you receive a notice of intended prosecution or a request asking you to identify the driver.
It is reported that Ms Price was spotted driving on 25th July 2018 by a reporter, who informed Ms Price that she was disqualified from driving. It is reported that Ms Price subsequently turned herself into the police a few days later.
Ms Price’s legal representative stated that Ms Price had thought that her disqualification had ended and she believed it started at the beginning of January.
If a person is sentenced to penalty points, the points are backdated to the date the offence was committed. However, a driving disqualification runs from the date it was imposed. If you are subject to a driving disqualification and you are unsure when it ends, you can either contact the DVLA or do an online check here.
In addition, Ms Price was charged with being over the legal drinking limit whilst in charge of a vehicle. Ms Price attended court on 7th January 2019 and entered a plea of not guilty. The matter has been listed for trial starting on 25th February 2019. In order for Ms Price to successfully defend this charge, she will have to prove to the court that there was no likelihood of her driving whilst the level of alcohol was over the legal limit of 35 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath.
Based on the alleged reading of 69 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, if Ms Price is convicted of this offence after trial, she can be at risk of a further disqualification. The sentencing guidelines state that the court can impose either ten penalty points or consider disqualification, as well as a fine. Also, if Ms Price is convicted after a trial, she will not receive any credit on the financial element for an early guilty plea. The previous points that led to her ban, imposed in February 2018, were wiped clean as a result of the ban under the totting up provisions. Given that the trial for the ‘in charge’ allegation is during the three month disqualification period imposed earlier this week, should Ms Price be convicted and the court decide to impose a ban, that ban will run alongside the current ban. As long as Ms Price has not committed any further penalty point offence in the meantime, a conviction for being drunk in charge could still see her escape any lengthened period off the road in the event that penalty points are imposed.
At Stephensons we have a specialist motoring team who are able to advise and assist with offences relating to motoring law. To discuss your case please call our team on 01616 966 229.