Kiefer’s DUI and Britney’s Hit and Run – Big Deals?

Posted on Oct 9, 2007 in Celebrity Justice, DUI/DWI, Traffic

car_crash_2.jpgThis afternoon, Kiefer Sutherland’s attorney announced that he pleads “no contest” to Driving Under the Influence (he was arrested on 9/25 for two misdemeanor counts of DUI)  — he pled the same thing to a prior DUI in 2004.

Also this afternoon, Britney Spear’s attorney appeared in court on her behalf — and Britney has been ordered to come into LA County and be booked for hit and run before the big 10/26 hearing in her custody case.

What’s the big deal about all this?

For Kiefer, it may mean some jail time since the “no contest” plea translates into his admission that he violated his probation from the 2004 case (not to mention failing the 9/2007 sobriety test).  Probation is a second chance given by a judge: coming back before a judge for violation of probation?  You better have a darn good reason for being there, because the judge is usually ready to send you off for some jail time at that point.

Is the economic impact to 24 if Kiefer can’t work a good enough reason?  Probably not.

As for Britney’s hit and run, this involves the fender bender in the parking lot, and her biggest problem there is the lack of a valid driver’s license at the time.  No sobriety test was done, no one was hurt, it wasn’t significant property damage.  All that video doesn’t help her case though — you see her smiling as she walks away from the scene.  Plus, all this bad press and the commissioner’s ruling that she’s habitually under the influence won’t help her, either.

Kiefer’s in a much more serious situation than Britney today — and all this disregard of the law by celebrities, back to back, may hurt them both.  Judges don’t like to see the law disrespected.  Why not?

Well, maybe it is because they take it personally.  Then again, maybe it’s because they’ve seen too many cases where cars were involved that ended up like John Graziano.  Maybe they see the legal privilege of driving a car as a bigger responsibility than most.

So who’s this John Graziano?  You remember him — he was the passenger in the car that Hulk Hogan’s son crashed last month.  He may be spending the rest of his life in a nursing home: he’s still not responding to light or sound.�

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