Monday, January 22, 2007

Paris Hilton gets probation in drunk-driving case

The 25-year-old socialite was not present in court for sentencing.

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From Reuters

January 22, 2007

Celebrity heiress Paris Hilton was sentenced to three years probation Monday after pleading no contest to alcohol-related reckless driving stemming from a September arrest in Hollywood.

Hilton, who was not in court and entered the plea through her attorneys, was also fined $390 and ordered to attend an alcohol-education program by a Los Angeles judge. In California a no contest plea is the legal equivalent of pleading guilty.

"I just spoke with her and she's happy that the matter is over," Hilton's spokesman, Elliott Mintz, said after the hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court.

The 25-year-old socialite and reality TV star was originally charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and driving with a blood-alcohol level over California's legal limit of .08.

She pleaded no contest to the lesser charge under a plea agreement with prosecutors and can reduce her probation by a year if she completes 40 hours of community service, Los Angeles City Attorney's spokesman Frank Mateljan said.

"We felt that this deal was appropriate given the circumstances and we're satisfied with the outcome," Mateljan said. Those circumstances included Hilton's blood-alcohol level, which was the minimum level required for charges.

Hilton, who had a hit single last summer with "Stars Are Blind," was stopped by police in Hollywood at around 1 a.m. on Sept. 7 for driving erratically in her silver Mercedes and was arrested after failing a sobriety test.

She later told KIIS-FM radio in Los Angeles that she had been to a fund-raising party after a long day shooting a music video and had just one drink.

"I had one margarita (and) was starving because I had not eaten all day. Maybe I was speeding a little bit and I got pulled over," Hilton told the radio station.

"I was just really hungry and I wanted to have an In-N-Out Burger," she said, referring to the popular, California-based fast-food chain.

The plea and sentencing came on the same day that a new Paris Hilton line of pet accessories and apparel was announced under the Little Lily brand.