Former Bachelorette star Angie Kent has been slammed by a magistrate as she was disqualified from driving for four months for drunkenly getting behind the wheel on her way to a picnic.
Ms Kent, 31, looked sombre as she arrived at Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court on Wednesday morning, flanked by her solicitor Justin Wong.
The TV personality pleaded guilty to mid-range drink driving after blowing over the limit during a random breath test on the city’s Anzac Bridge on October 3.
Following her arrest, Ms Kent publicly claimed she had two drinks on an empty stomach while getting ready for a fully-vaccinated picnic.
As well as a four-month driving ban, the ex-reality TV star was on Wednesday fined $1,200 and ordered to participate in an interlock program for 12 months.
She appeared glassy-eyed and nervous during the hearing, frequently drumming her finger tips on her lap, and looked downcast as the sentence was read out.
Magistrate Vivien Swain said Ms Kent’s poor driving record was not something ‘she can rely on’.
‘It is littered with offences, including speeding offences and she has been issued with several demerit letters,’ the magistrate said.
‘If you drive, it’s best not to drink at all. Ms Kent will understand it is not tolerated in our community and places people at risk.’
Ms Kent’s lawyer argued she was regretful and had good prospects of rehabilitation.
He said she resides in Mount Tambourine, in the outer suburbs of the Gold Coast where public transport is scarce, and a disqualification would affect her ability to commute to work.
He asked the magistrate to take into consideration the impacts a driving disqualification would have on Ms Kent.
Reality TV star Angie Kent appeared at Sydney’s Downing Centre court on Wednesday with a lawyer – where she pleaded guilty to drink driving
Ms Kent attends Downing Centre Court on Wednesday with her lawyer to plead guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol
Ms Kent’s lawyer argued she was regretful for her drink driving and had good prospects of rehabilitation
Kent wanted to return to Queensland this month through the home quarantine system but is no longer eligible due to the incident, her lawyer said
‘She understands the danger and seriousness of her actions and accepts responsibility and wants to make sure it doesn’t happen again,’ he said.
‘There has been a degree of public embarrass and shame, and she publicly apologised for her actions.’
The ex-Bachelorette star was pulled over in a grey Kia Cerator for a random breath test about 4.30pm on Sunday, October 3, a police statement of facts said.
Ms Kent – who police say was compliant during her arrest – returned a positive result and taken to Day Street Police Station, where she blew a reading of 0.08g of alcohol in 210 litres of breath.
NSW’s drink-drive limit for fully-licenced drivers is 0.05.
Ms Kent’s lawyer said she resides in Mount Tambourine in the outer suburbs of the Gold Coast where public transport is scarce
The police facts say Ms Kent has previously been charged and convicted in NSW for mid-range drink driving, which was her first offence.
Mr Wong said his client was embracing the opportunity to enjoy eased Covid restrictions by attending a social picnic, and had two drinks beforehand.
‘Ms Kent has been seeing a therapist since 2020, but coming to Sydney she found herself away from her support network,’ he said.
‘That took into her mind set when she was going to the picnic to socialise and explains her decision making on the day.’
The TV star was pulled over after temporarily relocating to Sydney to film the Channel Seven reality show Dancing With The Stars.
Ms Kent has been spotted enjoying a drink at three separate functions in recent weeks. She is on October 17 enjoying a drink at Sydney’s Opera Bar
He argued his client had wanted to return to Queensland this month through the home quarantine system but is no longer eligible due to the incident and will now have to wait until December.
Magistrate Swain said Ms Kent has suitable prospects of rehabilitation, accepts responsibility for her decision and is regretful.
However Ms Swain said the TV star was just within the mid-range sentencing category, which should be treated with seriousness.
Kent is pictured at a Dancing with The Stars wrap party on a super yacht on Sydney Harbour on Freedom Day
Kent, 31, also indulged in a boozy lunch with a friend in Sydney at the Tramsheds in Sydney’s inner-west after she was arrested and charged with drink driving
Ms Kent was apologetic outside court: ‘I’m very sorry for my actions,’ she said.
‘I’m grateful for all the opportunities I’ve been afforded… I’ve always worked hard to do my best.
‘However, I recognise that I have to do better in the future and I’m determined to make sure I do’.
Ms Kent has been seen drinking at public events on three occasions in recent weeks.
Ms Kent was driving a Kia Cerato at the time of her arrest, and was taken to a nearby police station where she returned a breath test reading of 0.081
Angie, who is set to star on the upcoming season of Dancing With The Stars, said publicly that she consumed two drinks on an empty stomach while getting ready for the outing and is ‘deeply regretful’ over her actions
On NSW’s Freedom Day, Monday, October 11, she was pictured on board a super yacht with her Dancing With The Stars castmates Grant Denyer, Ricki Lee Coulter, Kylie Gillies and Rob Mills to celebrate the end of filming for the upcoming season.
Then on Thursday, October 14, Ms Kent was photographed having beverages with friends at Sydney’s Tramsheds.
Three days later, on Sunday, October 17, a photographer snapped images of her downing a glass of champagne at a function at Sydney’s Opera Bar.
Ms Kent first found fame on Gogglebox Australia in 2015, before going on to appear on several other reality shows, including I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, Dancing With the Stars and The Bachelorette in 2019.