We all know there are some major issues cropping up in the news lately. The Democrats got the House and Senate back, Bush wants to send more troops to Iraq, stem cell research has a bill passing in Congress and James Brown died. However, amid all of these stories, there have been more and more celebrities getting busted for driving under the influence.
Are celebrity DUIIs the new baby bump?
We all know there are some major issues cropping up in the news lately. The Democrats got the House and Senate back, Bush wants to send more troops to Iraq, stem cell research has a bill passing in Congress and James Brown died. However, amid all of these stories, there have been more and more celebrities getting busted for driving under the influence. Everyone from Mel Gibson and Gus Van Sant to Antonio Bryant and Mike Tyson has been busted for driving after tossing a few (or more) back.
Last year, Paris Hilton was arrested for driving erratically and suspicion of drunk driving. Of all the erratic shit that Hilton pulls, her drunk driving seems like an odd place to begin a criminal record. However, there hasn’t been any conviction yet and her blood-alcohol content (BAC) was an even .08, the current minimum in most states for a DUII conviction. She claims to have had one margarita and hadn’t eaten that day (just like her bestest buddy Nicole Ritchie!), which she feels is an adequate explanation for her exhibited poor driving. She also claimed that the only reason she was arrested and not released immediately is because of her celebrity status and the Mercedes McLaren SLR that she was driving.
That might be a valid argument. After all, what grumbling, donut-munching cop could possibly be bothered to stop someone who was veering across lanes, speeding and failing to signal unless they were in a swank ride?
What cop would take time out of his otherwise dull day to arrest someone driving like a fool- just to have to deal with all the paperwork of a traffic arrest- unless they discovered a famous person behind the wheel? Surely the police have a catch-and-release system for the ordinary drunk driver. Hilton is clearly the victim here!
She’s not alone, either. Many other celebrities have blamed the public spotlight for their arrest. Why, just recently in Portland, Van Sant was busted-and his blood alcohol test registered a .19! That’s more than twice the legal limit of .08-which translates to about four drinks over an hour and a half.
Here’s yet another fine example of a Hollywood player just minding his business, gettin’ his swerve on and rolling in his Porsche Cayenne at 2 a.m. when some of Portland’s finest noticed that he didn’t have his headlights on. They said he reeked of booze, slurred his words and could hardly stand up for the sobriety tests.
Doesn’t that just sound unfair? I mean, this guy made My Own Private Idaho, for fuck’s sake! How prejudicial does a traffic cop-who probably won’t earn in a lifetime what Van Sant makes in a year-need to be in order to bust an otherwise upstanding citizen? It’s not like he was sexually soliciting minors or carrying a gun-just driving around in the dark without headlights and a head full o’ booze.
Or look at Gibson, who explained that his anti-Semitic slurs and wayward driving were no fault of his-the open bottle of Cazadores Tequila found in the back of his Lexus was to blame. Once again, a fancy car and a popular face has unfairly attracted the police and made life harder for a guy who just wants to share his (blurred) vision with moviegoers.
There have also been celebrities like Nicole Ritchie, George Michael and Haley Joel Osment (yeah, the little kid from The Sixth Sense) getting busted for driving stoned. Now how the hell does that happen, you ask? No matter how many times you and your normal, average friends have cruised around passing a blunt or even a two-footer packed with some trainwreck or purple kush, it seems that you always get to your destination just fine and keep on tokin’.
But the three examples above were all nailed for simple driving errors such as driving down the wrong way on a freeway entrance (Ritchie), passing out in an intersection (Michael) or driving their 1995 Saturn into a light pole (Osment). Ah, those mean-tempered, rule-crazy cops. Hitting an inanimate object doesn’t really hurt anyone, does it?
So what does this all mean for the fans of the famed? Is the next step for every Jane and John Public to practice some boozin’ and cruisin’? If that becomes the case, it’s not good for the public court system. After all, if school shootings are blamed on Marilyn Manson and Grand Theft Auto, it can’t possibly be your average Joe’s fault for trying to drink and drive like their favorite celebrity.
Just make sure you drive a piece-of-shit car.