It seems that we hear and read more and more of famous movie and TV stars, musicians and other notable personalities being arrested for drunken driving. As a New Jersey DWI defense lawyer, my job is to assist motorists arrested for and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, prescription drugs and sometimes even illicit, or controlled and dangerous substances (CDS).
Driving while intoxicated can put a substantial dent in both your wallet and your lifestyle. There is no reason why an individual accused of drunk driving should automatically assume they have no recourse. Sadly, it seems that the rich and famous get more of a break than the average person, but with the supposed increase in offenses, this too could change.
According to a recent article, more big names are having their photos taken at the local police department instead of on the red carpet. In fact, over this past summer Chris Klein, star of “American Pie,” “Melrose Place” star Amy Locane and Vince Neil of Motley Crue have ranked among the newest inductees in the drunk drivers’ hall of fame. They join veteran drunk driving arrestees Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Richie in a growing list of famous, or infamous, DWI and DUI offenders.
One reason, some say, for the apparent increase in big names getting tagged for intoxicated driving is the ubiquitous cell phone. According to the article, many more people are reporting drunk drivers from the road as it happens. This in addition to stepped up enforcement, such as more frequent DUI and DWI checkpoints all around the country.
Of course, while most average people might need to phone a friend to be a designated driver for a night on the town, celebrities who drink a little to much usually have the wherewithal to take a taxi home. And for the biggest stars, certainly they have a plethora of personal assistants, bodyguards or chauffeurs to take them to and from events should they imbibe a bit too much over the course of an evening.
According to reports, it was Kiefer Sutherland of ’24’ fame who allegedly declined the offer of a personal driver one night in 2007 shortly before being pulled over by the police and being arrested for driving drunk – Sutherland’s blood-alcohol content (BAC) was reportedly over the legal limit that night after police caught him drunk behind the wheel.
It would seem that prominent people continue to take the risk of drinking and driving even though they probably know that such an event could cost them their career, much less their life or the life of somebody else.
For individuals like Lindsay Lohan, frequent offenses will eventually catch up with a person regardless of how well-known they are. For Lohan, she received prison time as a result of her 2007 DUI arrests out on the West Coast.
Driving While Famous: Why Are More Stars Getting Busted for DUI?, FoxNews.com, July 13, 2010