This past Saturday night actress Heather Locklear, well known for her starring role in Melrose Place, was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs near Los Angeles. The press is reporting that the former spouse of Bon Jovi was seen driving erratically when leaving a parking lot. She was later found by a CHP Officer stopped and blocking a highway in an upscale neighborhood.
As the CHP Officer spoke to Ms. Locklear, he noticed that she appeared under the influence of prescription drugs. She was arrested and booked for suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs.
California Vehicle Code Section 23152 makes it illegal to drive under the influence of either drugs or alcohol. Many people believe that the drugs must be illegal. That is not true. The code only requires that the person driving the motor vehicle be operating the car under the influence of a drug or alcohol.
Ms. Locklear should immediately hire a well experienced Southern California defense attorney. The reason being is that she faces significant penalties if she is convicted. Ms. Locklear could be convicted of a criminal offense. If this is her first or second DUI then it will probably be a misdemeanor. If Ms. Locklear has previously been convicted of two other offenses within the last ten years and is then convicted of this DUI then she could be convicted of a felony and could be sent to either county jail or prison.
If she is convicted of a misdemeanor then she would have to take a alcohol and drug education program, pay fines and court costs. Because of these consequences she should hire an attorney who might be able to assist her in a defense to these charges. Many times a well experienced criminal defense attorney is able to explore all of the possible defense to these charges including attacking the chemical tests that may have been administered.
The press has reported that the CHP Officer found Ms. Locklear behind the wheel of the car, but it was parked and not moving. A top notch defense attorney would be able to identify the exceptions in the law which requires the government to prove that she was “driving” the car while under the influence of the prescription drugs. Therefore, she may not have committed any crimes at all.