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Young Tobacco Heiress Inherits a $38,750 Fine for Drunk Driving

Katherina G. Andresen, Who is Reportedly Worth $1.57 Billion, Receives a Stiff Fine for Getting Behind the Wheel While Intoxicated

Here in the United States, it seems like the more money you have, the more likely you are to get out of a criminal charge all-together (or at least receive the minimum fine).  However, that seems to be a different story in Norway where a 22-year old intoxicated driver was slapped with a hefty fine of about $38,750.  And after further review, we found that it could have been much worse for her!

Earlier in 2017, during the Spring, a 22-year-old Norwegian student by the name of Katharina G. Andresen was pulled over in her Audi by police that were suspicious of the driver’s sobriety.  Norway, a country that is well-known for their very strict drunk driving laws, arrested Andresen for driving under the influence of alcohol.  The young and wealthy woman had a BAC of 0.06%, which is three times higher than the legal limit of Norwegian law (0.06% still happens to be under the legal limit of the United States law, which is 0.08% in most cases).  Andresen just so happens to be the youngest billionaire in the world!  Andresen’s family money comes from an old tobacco company, JL Tiedemanns Tobaksfabrikd, which her family had owned in the mid-1800’s.  Lucky for her, it’s fiscally beneficial for money to be passed on to the younger generation in countries like Norway, because they receive tax benefits for doing so.  Johan Andresen Jr. passed on the majority of his shares in the family’s fortune to his two daughters, giving Katherina a 42.2% share of the family fortune.  According to Forbes, she is worth a whopping $1.57 billion, making her not only the youngest billionaire in the world but also the richest woman in Norway.

However, money doesn’t always bring you the best of luck.  In Norway, punishments for drunk driving are dependent on a defendant’s income.  According to a Norweigan newspaper, Andresen could have potentially received over a $6 million fine if the court based the sentencing fine on her total assets.  However, Andresen is currently enrolled as a student and recently moved back into the family mansion with her parents.  Andresen does not currently have a fixed income and her assets have not yielded any dividends as of yet.  Andresen stated that she currently has a $1,100 per month allowance and that she uses a checking account with approximately $110,000.  It is unclear if these figures were generated for the sole purpose of sentencing, but considering these factors, the judge found it appropriate to fine Andresen a small fine of $38,750 (just above pocket change for the young girl).

It was reported by several newspapers that the prosecutor demanded the most severe punishment possible, which happened to include an 18-month prison sentence.  However, the judge sentenced her to three weeks of prison, which he suspended.  Andresen’s driver’s license was also suspended for 13 months.  So all-in-all, she’s extremely lucky (Even though $6 million would have been pocket change for the billionaire)!  Hopefully next time, she’ll realize that it’s not worth it to drive drunk and will maybe take a taxi or the family limousine instead.

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Paul Sawyer
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