The year 2009 has just began, and already, there are already a couple of celebrity DUI arrests in the police record books. On New Year’s Eve, television commentator and former basketball star Charles Barkley was arrested in Arizona on suspicion of drunk driving after he ran a stop sign. He underwent field sobriety tests at the scene, but refused to take a breath test. Barkley was given a blood test at the police station and was cited for driving while being impaired.
On Saturday, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and movie star Sam Shephard was arrested for allegedly drunk driving and speeding in Illinois after leaving a bar. His blood-alcohol level was reportedly two times the legal limit. Shephard was released Sunday after posting bond.
Last Friday, television star Heather Locklear’s DUI case was dismissed after she entered a no-contest plea to a reckless driving misdemeanor charge. Locklear had been arrested and charged last September with misdemeanor driving under the influence of prescription drugs. Now, she must undergo probation for 3 years, take part in a 12-hour drug education program, and pay a $700 fine.
Celebrities are not the only ones at risk of drunk driving, especially during the holiday season. Over New Year’s Eve, the Massachusetts State Police Department increased its patrol efforts to keep drunk drivers off the streets. An additional 410 patrols were on duty.
State police say that as of December 30, they had made 5,004 OUI arrests for operating under the influence in 2008-a 7% increase from 2007, while Massachusetts OUI crashes were down by 6% at 584 accidents.
With additional police vigilance comes more arrests. However, just because a person has been arrested for a Massachusetts OUI does not mean that they are guilty of the charges or will be convicted.
Barkley ‘disappointed’ after DUI arrest, The Boston Channel, January 5, 2009
Sam Shephard Arrested for DUI, Boston Herald, January 5, 2009
Locklear DUI case dismissed after plea deal, MSNBC, January 2, 2009
Police Crack Down On Drunken Drivers, WCVB, December 30, 2008
Your best chances of fighting a Massachusetts OUI charge is to contact our Boston drunk driving attorneys to explore your legal options.