As New Jersey drunken driving defense attorneys, we have represented hundreds of motorists accused of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. In our years as experienced trial lawyers, we have heard numerous kinds of defense arguments, but rarely if ever have we heard of a defendant arguing that being hounded by the media resulted in his or her DWI arrest.
Granted, the majority of defendants in New Jersey drunk driving cases tend to be average people who have been unlucky enough to have been stopped by a police officer and handed a summons for driving under the influence of alcohol or prescription drugs. Those who are popular enough to be the target of news reporters and photographers would make a much shorter list.
We were reminded of this when we ran across a number of news stories about Dina Lohan, the mother of the well-known celebrity, Lindsay Lohan. According to reports, Lohan’s mother was headed to court in Long Island because of a DWI charge resulting from a traffic stop on the Northern State Parkway back on September 12. It appears that Ms. Lohan, 51, was stopped by a patrolman for speeding, but ended up being arrested on what the news articles called “suspicion” of driving while intoxicated.
Authorities stated that Lohan was given a Breathalyzer test, which showed a blood-alcohol content (BAC) measurement of double the legal limit of 0.08 percent. As a result, Ms. Lohan stated for the court that the root cause for her being drunk on the road was the fault of the media.
According to a prepared statement read by Lohan’s lawyer after the hearing, the paparazzi were to blame for the episode. “The circumstances leading to Dina’s arrest were largely impacted by ongoing daily stresses caused by you folks, the paparazzi, media attention and distorted tabloid character profiles.”
Following the not guilty plea, the court apparently only took only some of the explanation to heart, as Ms. Lohan’s driver’s license was ordered by the judge to be suspended. This could be due to the fact that the prosecution presented evidence showing that Dina Lohan’s breathalyzer results were 0.20 percent, which is more than twice the legal limit in New York State and New Jersey as well.
Also resulting from that initial hearing, the court ordered an evaluation of Ms. Lohan for substance abuse or dependency. However, based on information from the New York Post, that evaluation showed “no indication that Dina suffers from alcohol abuse or dependency.” With a “remarkably unblemished” record, the evaluators deemed that famous mother did not require treatment.
The Huffington Post reported the events leading up to the DWI arrest. As part of that news article, it was stated that Ms. Lohan was stopped by police at around 11pm for allegedly driving 77mph in a 55 zone. Officers at the time charged the older Lohan with two counts of speeding and one count of DWI
Dina Lohan’s DUI Arrest A Result Of Paparazzi And Stress, Not Alcohol Abuse (REPORT); HuffingtonPost.com; October 24, 2013
Dina Lohan Arrested For Drunk Driving In Long Island, HuffingtonPost.com, September 12, 2013