Criminal Justice

Lohan's Latest Spree Could Lead to Jail


No longer does Paris Hilton have star billing as Hollywood’s most notorious party girl. The dubious distinction now goes to actress Lindsay Lohan, 21, arrested early this morning in Santa Monica for allegedly drinking and driving on a suspended license. She was also charged with felony cocaine possession, after she was reportedly found with the drug at a police lockup.

Her arrest–two weeks after she was released from rehab and two months after her last reported drunk-driving escapade, a Memorial Day weekend hit-and-run in Beverly Hills–appears to be the next celebrity crash-and-burn case in the making. If convicted, criminal defense lawyers believe, she is likely to face prison time, reports ABC News.

“She is in a world of hurt,” says Steven Cron, a Santa Monica attorney. “Any judge is going to want to make sure she’s off the streets for a while. I think she faces a substantial amount of jail time.”

Lohan’s arrest immediately made international headlines. Within hours, an ever-expanding list of news stories included People magazine’s stop-the-presses account of her heartsick parents standing by her and a Slate report that rehab programs do not come with a money-back guarantee because it is so difficult for addicts to ignore the siren song of substance abuse.

Lohan refused a field sobriety test but had a blood-alcohol level of between .12 and .13 when tested at the police station today, reports the Los Angeles Times. The legal limit in California is .08. Celebrity lawyer Blair Berk drove Lohan to rehab not quite two months ago, as ABAJournal.com noted. Today she said her client has relapsed and is receiving medical care.

Lohan’s latest movie is to be released Friday, but her scheduled appearance tonight on the Jay Leno television show was abruptly canceled and she reportedly is likely to miss the movie premiere. She is supposed to start filming another movie soon, but her current situation obviously may delay that plan, too.

Although she hasn’t been convicted of any crimes and may still pull out of her downward spiral, her sad story is one we have heard before. Talented young celebrities too often struggle “with mounting or fleeting fame by turning to drugs or alcohol,” notes the Associated Press. And a “radically more permissive” American society is part of the problem, says publicist Michael Levine. “We’re living in this very crazy culture in which it seems like if you act up, it actually makes you more famous and more successful,” he tells AP. “Hollywood is like society-at-large on steroids.”

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