In a sign that gossip magazines’ obsession with celebrity drunk driving arrests may have gone too far, Radar Online recently reported on a celebrity DUI that occurred more than half a decade ago.
Ryan Gosling, the unwitting victim of a media with a long memory, managed to keep a 2005 DUI arrest out of the public eye until last week.
According to Radar Online, the popular star of films such as “The Notebook” and “Lars and the Real Girl” was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol way back in March of 2005.
Sources indicate that he was arrested by California Highway Patrol officers from the force’s central Los Angeles location.
Fortunately for Gosling, he and his DUI lawyer were able to lower his punishment. While Gosling was initially charged with a DUI, and his breathalyzer test allegedly revealed a blood alcohol level well above the legal limit of .08, both these charges were eventually dropped.
Instead, Gosling pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of “exhibiting speed.” According to sources, he was sentenced to two years of probation and had to pay roughly $800 in fines.
Cases like these, in which a celebrity escapes a DUI arrest with relatively minor charges, sometimes raises the public’s ire. If a celebrity is perceived to escape the consequences of his actions, people may view the end result as unjust.
However, while celebrities often see DUI charges dropped or reduced, average Joes are often just as capable of fighting their drunk driving arrests.
There are hundreds of things that can go wrong during a DUI arrest. If the police make a procedural error, or a mistake in judgment, the DUI charge may not hold as much weight in court.
In addition, courts often treat first-time offenders with more leniency than they handle people who have habitually violated the law.
Of course, even if the charges are reduced, most people do not face the challenge of having news of their arrest appear in a grocery store checkout line six years after the event occurred.
While DUI convictions are technically part of the public record, they do not have to end careers or lead to financial disaster.
By taking aggressive steps immediately after a DUI arrest, many people have a better chance of defending their legal rights in court.
For what it’s worth, Ryan Gosling’s career certainly seems to have survived his brush with the law in 2005.
The Canadian actor is currently starring as a stunt driver in the film “Drive,” which may have prompted the excursion through his driving record, and has had a leading role in at least half a dozen major movies in the last few years.
So, whether you are a big-time actor or just a regular non-famous civilian, remember that a DUI arrest is not always the end of the world. As Gosling can attest, regaining the freedom to drive again may be quite simple.