It seems on the surface that there have been a lot of celebrity DUIs lately, whether you’re talking about Chris Klein, Lindsay Lohan, Motley Crue musician Vince Neil or any one of several stars from “The Hills.”
So what’s the deal with all of the celebrity DUI arrests? Fox411 digs into this question in a recent article. In it, they ask whether the uptick in offenses has to do with more celebrities breaking the law, or with law enforcement techniques that are busting more DUI offenders in general.
According to California DUI lawyer Neil Shouse, “There has been a prominent step up in law enforcement. A lot more people call in to report drunk drivers and there are a lot more DUI checkpoints. The California Highway Patrol has also become much more aggressive.”
Shouse also cited an increase in funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to curb DUI, which we have covered on the blog before.
A representative from the LAPD confirmed the increase in police presence working to curb drunk driving.
Despite the higher levels of prevention and enforcement, one would think that celebrities could afford to take cabs or get one of the members of their entourage to be the designated driver for the night. However, that’s not always the case.
One star, actor Kiefer Sutherland, turned down the opportunity to have a personal driver take him home on the night that he was arrested for driving while intoxicated.
According to some, there are psychological forces at play when it comes to celebrities who are willing to risk driving while drunk.
DUI attorney Shouse told Fox411 that “stars often see themselves as having a sense of immunity and a very dangerous false sense of security.” New Jersey lawyer Darren Del Sardo suggested that celebrities might drink to escape the daily scrutiny that a modern life in the spotlight can entail.
Entertainment reporter Scott Huver offered a cynical attitude: “There is a breed of young star who, seeing the press that Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan generate from their legal problems, somehow believes any publicity is somehow good publicity.”
It is perhaps hard to imagine how the legal repercussions of a DUI could help a young performer’s career, but in a way that may be what the public finds so attractive about the Hollywood set, that being their unpredictability.