Nicole Richie DUI Arrest Teaches Some Important Lessons

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One of the stars from reality television's "The Simple Life" may be living the hard-knock life as the result of a recent DUI charge .

Nicole Richie was arrested on suspicion of DUI last week in Burbank and could be sent to prison for a mandatory five days if convicted for a second time in the state, according to California DUI law.

Richie reportedly pleaded no contest four years ago to driving under the influence. In addition to a five-day prison term, California DUI law requires a one-year license suspension and a year-and-a-half of alcohol education for two-time DUI offenders.

This could be bad news for the 25-year-old Richie, the adopted daughter of pop singer Lionel Richie. Her black Mercedes was pulled over when California law enforcement received various 911 calls about a similar car matching Richie's driving the wrong way down a Burbank highway.

According to various news sources, Richie allegedly admitted to an arresting officer that she smoked marijuana and took the prescription drug Vicodin prior to the arrest. Richie allegedly failed a series of field sobriety tests, but was not given a breathalyzer because she was not believed to be drunk driving.

While she may not have been drunk, Richie seems to have been impaired and will likely have a hard time escaping her charges of DUI, which applies to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

During her DUI arrest in 2002, Richie was found to be under the influence of alcohol. She twice registered breathalyzer readings that were above the legal blood alcohol content level of 0.08% in California, and admitted to having a shot of vodka.

Richie's license was suspended for one year, while she was placed on probation for three years. Some six months later, she was arrested for driving with a suspended license and possession of heroin.

While the recent Nicole Richie DUI arrest obviously displays a disregard for the law, it also demonstrates the importance of knowing the DUI laws in your state and their penalties.

While DUI state laws may vary in the specifics, the drunk driving penalties associated with them are getting tougher and tougher for first and second offenses, from losing the right to drive and being put on probation to even facing severe jail time.

And if these tough penalties don't persuade people to stop driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, maybe high-profile arrests of celebrities like Richie will drive home the point.


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