We’ve taken a look at some of our most read celebrity DWI news stories and decided to add them all here in one post. Below are the full articles we’ve featured in the past.
New York NBA Celebrity Faces Misdemeanor DWI Charges
Celebrity DWI charges are often a hot topic of discussion on the internet. This week, the DWI charges against Jason Kidd grace the headlines of online news sites, blogs and social media posts. The New York Daily News reports that the ten-time National Basketball League All-Star player came under legal fire last weekend for violating DWI laws in Suffolk County, New York. Mr. Kidd was arrested after he allegedly crashed his Cadillac Escalade into a telephone pole, and took out a couple of trees in the vicinity of his own mansion in East Hampton.
At the scene of the accident, Mr. Kidd allegedly refused to take a breathalyzer test to measure his blood alcohol level. However, law enforcement officers advised that he smelled strongly of alcohol, spoke with slurred speech, had bloodshot eyes, and was not steady on his feet. Apparently, according to police, Mr. Kidd also had no idea what had happened during the accident. Foxsports.com notes that Mr. Kidd’s DWI charges come just under a week after he signed on to coach the Brooklyn Nets. That may be part of the reason that Mr. Kidd’s misdemeanor DWI charges have garnered so much attention this week. Mr. Kidd pleaded not guilty to the DWI charges against him, and is scheduled to appear in Southampton Town Court next month.
The DWI attorneys at Nave DWI Defense Attorneys have years of experience in defending misdemeanor DWI charges. For example, in the case of People v. P.T., an Nave DWI Defense Attorneys client drove his car into a ditch and became stuck. The police arrived at the scene and believed that the client had been under the influence of alcohol when he was driving. To that end, the officers arrested the client and charged him with DWI, DWI above 0.08% BAC and Aggravated DWI above 0.18% BAC. When the client arrived at the police station, he took a breathalyzer test, which determined that his BAC was 0.18%. That BAC level made the client ineligible for a reduction in the charges against him, pursuant to the county’s policy. Luckily, Nave DWI Defense Attorneys lawyers got on the case and began reviewing the evidence.
In their investigation, Nave DWI Defense Attorneys attorneys determined that the evidence against the client did not match up with evidence against someone charged with a 0.18% BAC. Nave DWI Defense Attorneys attorneys also determined that the client had been chewing tobacco right up until he took the breathalyzer test. All of these factors pointed at the fact that the client may have had a lower BAC. Nave DWI Defense Attorneys attorneys discussed these concerns with the ADA and the client ultimately was able to plead to one count of DWAI, which was a significant reduction from the charges against him. The client was able to avoid having a criminal record altogether, and was spared the significant and costly penalties associated with a DWI conviction.
Nets Coach, Jason Kidd, Strikes DWI Plea Deal
Last year, Jason Kidd – the new head coach of the Brooklyn Nets and former NBA star – crashed his vehicle into a utility pole in Water Mill, Long Island after he “had a few drinks” at a charity event. According to an article in the New York Daily News Coach Kidd recently stepped into the Southampton Town Courthouse in Hampton Bays to take responsibility for his poor choice of driving drunk last July.
At the scene of the accident, police reported that he smelled like alcohol, was shaky on his feet and his eyes were bloodshot. Kidd refused to take the blood alcohol breath test. No one else was involved in the accident and he only suffered minor injuries. On July 16, 2013, he pleaded guilty to the driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge and was put on interim probation.
During the interim probation Kidd must make appearances at local-area high schools and talk to students – many are new or soon-to-be new drivers – about the ills of getting behind the wheel of a vehicle intoxicated. The Suffolk County District Attorney, Thomas Spota, believes that Coach Kidd is a role model for young and old alike and hopefully his message will positively impact the students and their future decisions.
Coach Kidd is scheduled back in court at the end of September 2013. At that time, the court will review whether or not he fulfilled his agreement to speak to area high school students regarding the dangers of drunk driving. Should the court find that he fulfilled his commitment – then his DWI, a misdemeanor, will be reduced to driving while ability impaired (DWAI), a violation in the State of New York.
MADD is ticked about Kidd’s plea deal
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) – whose mission is to put an end to people getting behind the wheel while intoxicated, provide support to victims and prevent underage drinking – issued a statement after Kidd’s plea deal was announced. Their statement basically expressed concern that the court did not require Kidd to install an interlock ignition device on his automobile. The organization is upset that so-called loopholes exist in the law and individuals that violate the law are not prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
High Profile DWI arrests
Every so often the news reports of celebrities getting DWI arrests. This month in particular several celebrities and notable members of society have made headlines. According to NY Daily News, one of the “Yankee’s top minor-league prospects, was arrested…and charged with driving under the influence” this week in Tampa, Florida. New York Yankees general manager confirmed the arrest but did not comment.
Reese Witherspoon’s husband made news when he was pulled over and arrested for DUI. However, news outlets have been focusing more on Ms. Witherspoon’s behavior rather than her husband’s arrest. According to NY Daily News,Witherspoon “invoked her celebrity status” and Witherspoon “questioned whether the officer was a real cop.” Further, she “threatened” that he would “be on national news” if they arrested her husband. Witherspoon later went on record apologizing about the situation and the surrounding circumstances.
Al Michaels, NBC Sports broadcaster was arrested earlier this month for a DUI in California, after he was stopped at a Santa Monica DUI checkpoint. According to reports by TMZ and NY Daily News, Mr. Michaels blew a 0.08, and 0.09 in two separate breathalyzer tests conducted at the scene. California’s legal limit is 0.08, putting Michaels just over that threshold, leading to a misdemeanor DUI charge.
Kevin Hart openly stated on Twitter a day after his DUI arrest that “[d]rinking & driving is not a game or a laughing matter…People have lost lives because of stupid… decisions such as drinking and driving.” It is refreshing when celebrities take their arrests seriously. Hart was arrested in April for DUI, and “did not hesitate to admit to his wrongdoing.”
Often celebrities and public figures are criticized for “getting away” with arrests, misdemeanors, and DUI’s. Therefore, it is often remembered more when a celebrity takes the time to admit to their wrongdoing, and set an example for others. Unfortunately, more than a few people find themselves panicking when they see the red and blue lights flash behind them. Whether it is just a routine traffic stop or otherwise, mistakes happen. The most important thing is ensuring that they do not happen again, and the first step is making the time to take the arrest seriously.
Dina Lohan arrested in New York for Drunk Driving
50-years-old Dina Lohan, mother of actress Lindsay Lohan, was arrested for drunk driving in New York on Thursday night. According to police reports, her blood alcohol level was recorded at 0.2 percent, which is more than twice the legal limit of 0.08.
The incident took place around 11pm Thursday night on 12 September, 2013, when Lohan was pulled over on the Northern State Parkway by New York State Police. She was driving her white BMW and allegedly going 77mph in a 55mph zone
Upon questioning, the cops noticed that she appeared intoxicated. Her blood alcohol level was tested during the routine stop which came out to be 0.20 percent, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent. She was taken to a nearby police station and booked on two counts of driving while intoxicated and one count of speeding.
At the time of her arrest, Lohan made an allegation that she was injured according to officials. However, when medical personnel arrived at the scene, she ‘recanted her claim’ and said that she was fine.
At the police station, she posed for a bleary-eyed mug shot with a slight smile before she was released. Surprisingly, Lindsay was not the person who picked Dina up from the station and she was released to a third party. Detailed information on the third party was not available.
Dina, who has four children, is scheduled to appear in court on September 24.
Sources at the TMZ have reported and obtained photos of Dina partying like crazy this month. She was seen attending a giant party over Labor Day weekend, drunken like a sailor. People at the party reported that she was slurring her speech, zoning out and was a total mess that night.
Her ex-husband Michael however, is happy with the arrest. In a statement given to the Inside Edition, he said, “In a way it can be a good thing. Maybe it’ll put Dina in a better place and to get help. Look at Lindsay. Look at me. When we went to treatment, it worked.”
Michael also gave his remarks on Dina’s mug shot saying that he was hurt to see her like that. “She looks upset, I feel bad for her,” he said.
He also went on saying that if you do the same thing again and again, it will catch up to you sooner or later. But things can work out for her. “Sometimes you have to have that epiphany in your life; that arrest or that one experience that will make you turn it around. I hope it works out for the best, she’s the mother of my kids… I hope they give her the option of going to treatment.
“If she is found guilty or pleads guilty, she loses a car – that’s her means of transportation; it’s my son Cody’s means of transportation to get to school in the morning. I don’t want Cody to be affected,” said Michael.
Attorney David Horan provides strong and efficient Criminal Defense and DWI Defense in New Hampshire.
Celebrity DWI in the News
Kerry Kennedy, ex-wife of current New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Robert F. Kennedy’s daughter, is charged with allegedly driving under the influence of Ambien. According to New York Daily News, Ms. Kennedy will face a trial in September for her misdemeanor DWAI Drug charge. She was pulled over after she “sideswiped a tractor trailer with her Lexus SUV last summer.” The trial was set after a judge denied Kennedy’s motion to dismiss.
Kennedy admitted that she had taken Ambien, but not purposefully. Ambien is a powerful prescription sleep drug. She was found in her car after the accident. The main issue at trial will be whether or not Kennedy took the sleeping pulls purposefully, then knowingly drove under the influence of them.
A New York Driving While Ability Impaired (“DWAI”) by a drug other than alcohol can result if you are operating a motor vehicle while your ability is impaired. In Ms. Kennedy’s situation, her ability to drive was allegedly impaired by Ambien. Ambien is a prescription drug, and thus could qualify under this particular law. A DWAI by the use of a drug is a misdemeanor charge. The punishments vary and could result in a mark on your criminal record, maximum fine of $1000, three years’ probation, six months revocation of driver’s license, or even one year in jail.
Barbara Walter’s Adopted Daughter: Jacqueline Danforth
Barbara Walter’s adopted daughter was arrested for an alleged DUI in Florida over the weekend. She is alleged to have blown a blood alcohol content of 0.218%. This number, if accurate, is well over the legal limit. Unfortunately, Ms. Danforth has allegedly struggled with substance abuse over the years. According to the arresting officers, Ms. Danforth had to be taken to the ground because they were afraid that she would “run into traffic on the highway.” Her behavior was described as “unpredictable.”
Had Ms. Danforth got a DWI in New York it is likely she would have been charged with an Aggravated DWI. An Aggravated DWI is established if the driver has a blood alcohol content over 0.18%. In this particular case, Ms. Danforth is alleged to have blown a 0.218% which would have been over the legal limit in New York. The penalties for Aggravated DWI is a misdemeanor charge on your criminal record, the possibility of one year in jail, fines up to $1000, six month license revocation, and the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device for up to one year.
Celebrities, DWIs, and the Real World
The number of celebrities arrested and charged with a DWI each year is astounding. You can Google the topic and find their mugshots and case details plastered all over the internet. The reality is that the rich and famous are often no different than the rest of the community–DWI can affect anyone. Also, just as with our community, many individuals are repeat offenders. But many have noticed that celebrities facing DWI often find themselves spending little to no time behind bars, having the charges dropped altogether, getting excellent plea bargains, or going into posh rehab facilities. Many do face probation requirements, but its hard to ignore the fact that having a famous face and name is often enough for leniency that other DWI offenders in the real world are not often privy to.
One of the key differences is that celebrities always ensure that they have top-notch legal teams at their sides demanding that their best arguments are brought forward at every step of the way in the criminal matter. Make no mistake: there is a world of difference between going into a case alone, and going in with an experienced legal advocate protecting your rights.
Non-famous offenders must fight to get a fair day in court, including the opportunity for a plea bargain, reduced charges, and possible alternative sentencing. These are the best case scenarios, aside from having charges dropped based on improper police procedure or a lack of evidence, and this is why the assistance of an experienced Utica DWI attorney is of the utmost importance. You have a better shot at fair dealings with the prosecutor, judge, and even a jury with a good lawyer on your side than you do if you go into court and try to defend your case on your own.
Unlike the rich and famous, the average person has little extra money to throw around for legal fees, court costs, and other legal costs. Often, unless there is an underlying problem, it only takes a single DWI offense to wake a person up and get them back on the right track. This does not mean they may never drink again; it means they will most likely remember the trouble and expense caused by their DWI and will think twice before making the same mistake again.
Actor’s DWI Charges Dropped after BAC Test Reads 0.00%
Even high-profile celebrities can face DWI charges if they decide to get behind the wheel after drinking. However, if the charges don’t fit the facts and the evidence at hand, an arrested driver—whether touting celebrity status or not—may convince the prosecutor to drop the charges against him. Actor Jeffrey Wright, most recently noted for his role in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” likely knows this scenario all too well, after being arrested and charged with DWI in New York City’s lower east side last weekend.
According to Today.com, law enforcement officers pulled Mr. Wright over in his vehicle because they allegedly observed him driving in an erratic manner and speeding. When officers approached Mr. Wright, they allegedly smelled the odor of alcohol emanating from the vehicle, and asked Mr. Wright to perform a field sobriety test. According to the report, Mr. Wright failed that test. The New York Post adds that Mr. Wright also had bloodshot eyes, and slurred speech, and was administered a breathalyzer test.
The breathalyzer test that Mr. Wright took during the stop registered that his blood alcohol level was .089 percent, above the .08% legal limit in New York. Mr. Wright was then arrested and charged with violating DWI laws. However, several hours later Mr. Wright was subsequently administered a second, more accurate breathalyzer test, which showed that his blood alcohol level was 0.00%.
The second test results appear to be the reason that the New York City prosecutor dropped the DWI charges against Mr. Wright. The judge ultimately granted the prosecution’s motion to dismiss, which was joined in by Mr. Wright, and sealed it. The judge also expunged Mr. Wright’s license suspension.
If Mr. Wright had been convicted of DWI, and it was his first DWI offense, he could have faced up to one year in jail, a fine between $500 and $1,000, and license revocation. He also may have had to pay a $250 annual assessment fine for three years, and may have been enrolled in the New York Drinking Driver Program, which also has associated costs. DWI charges are serious offenses under New York DWI law, and it is important to note that if a driver has prior DWI convictions on his or her record, the penalties and consequences of a DWI charge can dramatically increase.
Likely due in part to the work of his attorneys, Mr. Wright was able to avoid a costly, and perhaps embarrassing, DWI conviction. If you have been charged with violating DWI laws, your best line of defense is to have an experienced DWI review your case. A DWI attorney can help you understand the charges that you face, can negotiate the charges with the prosecutor, and can represent you in court. Call the experienced DWI attorneys at Nave DWI Defense Attorneys today at 1-866-792-7800 for a confidential consultation.
The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem. Corporate offices for Nave DWI Defense Attorneys are located at 432 N. Franklin Street, Suite 80, Syracuse, NY 13204; Telephone No.: 1-866-792-7800. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Attorney Advertising.