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Nicole

Takes the Wheel

2/19/2007 3:57 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Nicole Richie and galpal Mischa Barton hit Malibu over the weekend. Nicole was behind the wheel of a Mercedes G-Wagon as the pair played with puppies at a pet store.


TMZ reported last Friday that Richie was charged with driving under the influence of "alchohol and drugs." We screwed up. It should have read "alcohol or drugs." In fact, there was no evidence of alcohol when Richie was arrested. She allegedly confessed to cops she had taken Vicodin and smoked pot.

By the way, Nicole has a right to drive while her case winds through the legal system. In California, if someone is arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, that person's license is generally suspended before the case goes to trial. Since alcohol was not involved in the Richie case, she's free to roll down PCH.

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