After amassing a fortune by creating the Wal-Mart retailing juggernaut, Sam Walton left billions of dollars in inheritance money for his descendants. As a result of this massive inheritance, Walton’s relatives still remain in the spotlight, whether they like it or not.
One Walton heiress who recently captured the public’s attention is 62-year-old Alice Walton, who recently spent her birthday in a Texas jail after being arrested for driving while intoxicated.
According to the Mineral Wells Index, a Texas newspaper, Walton was stopped by police after committing a traffic violation while driving through a construction zone at night. Police arrested Walton for a DUI after she failed a field sobriety test.
During the incident, Walton had refused to take a breathalyzer test to determine her blood alcohol content, but the officers still arrested her based on her subpar performance in the sobriety test.
Local police told the newspaper that they intended to treat the billionaire heiress just like any other DUI offender, but critics noted that the police initially failed to put her mug shot on the police department’s website, which is the usual protocol.
After inquiries from local media sources, the police did post Walton’s mug shot, which shows a disappointed Walton in blue jailhouse garb.
In a statement released by her attorney, Walton admitted to driving 16 miles per hour over the speed limit while driving home from a birthday dinner at a restaurant in Fort Worth, Texas. The statement said Walton accepted “full responsibility” for the incident and that she “deeply regrets it.”
While a DUI arrest doesn’t usually receive much public attention, Walton’s arrest was noteworthy due to her fame and her prior criminal record.
Sources indicate that Walton had previously been arrested for a DUI in 1998 in Springdale, Arkansas. She was also involved in an accident in 1989 that resulted in the death of another driver.
Both of these driving incidents, however, did not result in a criminal conviction. In the DUI case, she simply paid a few hundred dollars in fines.
Walton undoubtedly regrets the attention she received for her arrest, but she is certainly a public figure given her estimated $21 billion net worth.
This healthy sum places her among the top 10 richest people in America, according to a study in Forbes magazine. The top 10 list also includes a few of her relatives. The Walton fortune is so large, it still creates obscenely wealthy individuals when divided in several parcels.
Members of the Walton family are considered royalty in their native Arkansas, where Walton founded the first Wal-Mart store decades ago.
The Waltons have donated millions of dollars to American and international charities, and still maintain some control over the business operations of the retailing giant.