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Kate Ritchie loses licence for low range drink driving in New South Wales – Crime



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Australian media personality Kate Ritchie has lost her
driver’s licence for three months after being fined for low
range drink driving.

No court date was given – rather she was handed an
infringement along with an immediate licence suspension.

The 44-year-old took to Instagram to apologise following the
incident.

Since then, the Australia’s Got Talent judge has lost a
partnership with a major skincare company.

Kate Ritchie Drink Driving

Kate Ritchie was caught drink driving on 22 August in
Sydney’s Eastern suburbs.

The television and radio personality was stopped for a random
breath test in a blue Subaru station wagon.

She registered a positive blood alcohol reading which resulted
in her arrest. Police transported her to Maroubra Police Station,
where she submitted to a breath analysis.

This returned a blood alcohol reading of 0.06. Police
subsequently issued her with an infringement in relation to an
offence of drive with low range PCA.

Drink driving
lawyers in Sydney
explain that infringements do not result in a
criminal conviction unless the recipient elects to take the matter
to Court. There, a Magistrate can choose to record a conviction.
  

Ritchie was also given an immediate police suspension for three
months. The minimum disqualification for low range drink driving is
three months.

The only exception to this is if a person elects the
infringement to court and is sentenced to a non-conviction order.
This can be a
Section 10 dismissal
, conditional release order without
conviction or a
Section 14 mental health
order.

It is understood the fine was $600.

Consequences of Drink Driving

Despite not receiving a criminal conviction, Kate Ritchie has
already been dealing with repercussions for the drink driving
offence. Ritchie was removed as a brand ambassador for QV – a
beauty products company.

The 44-year-old shared a post on Instagram where she extended a
public apology for her actions. She labelled her offending as a
‘poor decision’.  

However, this was not enough to save her from losing the
lucrative sponsorship deal.

Low Range PCA Offences

The
offence of drive with low range PCA
is driving a vehicle with a
blood alcohol concentration between 0.05 and 0.079.

Under
Section 110(3) the Road Transport Act 2013
(NSW)
, in order for you to be found guilty of ‘Low range
drink driving’, the prosecution must prove:

1. You were driving a vehicle;

2. You had a blood alcohol concentration between 0.05 and
0.079.

Police can immediately issue a penalty notice for $561 and a
3-month immediate suspension from driving.

You can elect to appeal the penalty notice to the Local Court if
you believe you are ‘not guilty’ or wish to fight the
disqualification. There are also additional defences to drink
driving set out above.

The maximum penalty for Low Range PCA (first offence) is $2200.
The maximum penalty for Low Range Drink Driving (Second or
Subsequent offence) is $3300.

For a first offence, the automatic disqualification for Low
Range PCA (first offence) is 6 months. The minimum disqualification
is 3 months. There is no Mandatory Interlock program.

The automatic disqualification for Low Range Drink Driving
(Second or Subsequent offence) is 12 months. The minimum
disqualification for Low Range Drink Driving (Second or Subsequent
offence) is 6 months.

The mandatory interlock program applies.

The automatic interlock disqualification for Low Range Drink
Driving (Second or Subsequent offence) is 3 months. The minimum
interlock disqualification for Low Range Drink Driving (Second or
Subsequent offence) is 1 month.

While it is impossible to predict the exact low range drink
driving penalties you will receive, we can provide a range of
likely sentences. Below is a list of sentencing cases in the Local
Court from October 2011:

  • Section 10 dismissal: 4%

  • Section 10 bond (Conditional release order without conviction):
    53%

  • Fine: 40%

The statistics above set out that low range drink driving
offences usually result in a conviction and fine.

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