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Why Nicole Richie

Can Still Drive

6/1/2007 5:23 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0601_nicole_ritchie_mug1-2TMZ ran a story earlier today saying that officials from the DMV and the D.A. couldn't explain why Nicole Richie didn't have her drivers license automatically suspended, more than six months after she was busted driving the wrong way on a Burbank freeway and charged with DUI. After all, Paris had her license suspended 5 months after she was busted for DUI. Well, after more digging, we've finally gotten to the bottom of the mystery.

Under California law, the DMV must suspend the license of anyone busted for driving with a .08 alcohol level or higher. In Richie's case, alcohol was not a factor. At the time of her arrest, Richie admitted she had taken Vicodin and smoked pot, but there were no traces of alcohol, therefore, an automatic suspension was not an option.

If, however, Richie is convicted, her license will be on the line, especially since this is her second DUI in 4 years.

37 COMMENTS

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1.

Ms_Tell_It_Like_It_Is    

I, too, thought DUI meant Driving Under Influence of either alcohol or drugs - it certainly should, especially since most [legal, prescription] drugs that can have negative 'influence' on your driving come with warnings not to drive or operate machinery. It seems that the whole DUI issue and laws need to be revamped with more stringent guidelines.

Regardless of what other actions while driving cause (ie, cell phones, etc), DUI is a serious problem that needs to have serious consequences. I would be willing to bet that there are more repeat DUI offenders that have accidents than cell phone users repeating their mistake after an accident, just because of the nature of alcohol and drug use/abuse.

Perhaps due to the specifics in NR's case (drugs, not alcohol), it is necessary for her to be convicted of the crime before her license is revoked. I certainly hope after 2 DUIs and her past heroin abuse all piled up on her record she DOES get some serious consequences. That email invite to her Memorial Day party certainly shows that she encourages getting drunk enough to pass out. There wasn't anything on that invite about making sure attendees brought a designated driver or that rides for the drunks would be provided. She clearly doesn't take the whole alcohol/drug abuse thing seriously, even after all of her problems relating to it. Maybe jail will wake her up, but I doubt it.

2615 days ago
2.

Robin    

Thanx TMZ for the update. But in my state they now call it a OVI. Driving Vehicle (while) under the influence. A drug is a drug is a drug. All drugs do impair ones judgement. She should not be able to have a legal drivers license for a certain number of months. Too be rich, famous and laking adult responsiblites. Wow. Gonna teach my kids these things so I don't have them go to jail. Paris and Nicole r not kids. They r grown ass adults with nothing to give back to society. Not nothing to give back. They have "The Simple/Stupid Life". Oh and they both have singing and acting careers (My Bad).

2615 days ago
3.

marybeth    

Give the ana a court date, convict her and lock her up already!

2615 days ago
4.

Robin    

If Nicole and Paris were cell mates, justs means they can sell more of "The Simple Life" and call it "The Simple Life Cell Mates". Throw LiLo in there and it will be "The Simple Life/Lets see who does not kill one another.

2615 days ago
5.

Parents Need to Know    

By: William Campbell Douglass II, M.D.

For the last week, you've read the latest news - and my latest predictions - about one of the biggest evils on the American medical landscape: Mass vaccinations.

As you'll recall, one of my extrapolations of this false panacea of medicine had to do with a new vaccine that's all the rage - one designed to prevent most cases of HPV (genital warts) in young women, along with the subsequent development of cervical cancer this viral infection is linked to...

My argument is that while it's all fine and good to prevent infections of a common STD and its often-cancerous aftermath, there's a "point of diminishing returns" in the equation if the vaccine gives young women a false sense of security about the safety of sex. This may expose them to all kinds of other diseases, some deadly (and getting deadlier).

But there are some "wild card" factors in this equation, too - things that could either mitigate the urge among young, naïve people to copulate with abandon OR temper that very same urge: Things like schooling, parenting, and one other influence I alluded to in the last Daily Dose...

I'm talking about popular culture.

If you've been a reader of mine for any length of time at all, you know I've long lamented the steady decline in the themes and messages in a lot of modern cultural influences - things like movies, TV, magazines, music (if you can call it that) and the over-publicized antics of spoiled celebrities. Now here's how this dovetails into the vaccine equation...

In the absence of strong, morally principled parenting - and schooling that minds the lines between what's proper curriculum and what's the responsibility of those parents to teach their kids - young, sexually curious adults are taking their cues on how to act from all the wrong places: Rap "music" lyrics and videos, movies, mom's Cosmopolitan mags, and whatever they learn from predators that prowl Internet chat-rooms and the MySpace profiles all their hyper-sexed, Ritalin-addicted friends are posting...

What's worse, they also learn how to act from what they're seeing Paris, Britney, Lindsay, and all the other pop-tarts doing on TV! (If you don't know who these people are, or are clueless about MySpace, you need to plug in to understand your kids and grandkids - but be forewarned, the journey's not for the faint of heart).

Think today's kids aren't REALLY so impressionable that they'd take their cues from a bunch of spoiled, talent-less Hollywood party-girls and gangster-rap stars?

According to recent UK Daily Mail article, researchers asked a random survey of 1,500 British kids aged 10 and under (the answers would be similar for American kids, I promise you), "What do you think is the very best thing in the world?"

Ranked from 1 to 10 by greatest number of responses, their answers were:

1) Being a celebrity
2) Good looks
3) Being rich
4) Being healthy
5) Pop music
6) Families
7) Friends
8) Nice food
9) Watching movies

And last on the list...

10) God

Take a look at the top three answers: Celebrity, beauty, and wealth. And also notice how "pop music" ranks above family, friends, and God...

Still think kids' sensibilities about life, love, sex, and what's important aren't being shaped heavily by hyper-sexed popular culture?

Bottom line: With STDs, sexual objectification, and victimization rampant - and with schools promoting sex as though it's civic duty - it's more important than ever for parents to set strong boundaries that instill sexual temperance and age-appropriate behavior in their kids.

Instead, we have parents steering children, either by first-hand example or by tacit approval of their over-eroticized young lifestyles, into having risky sex early and often...

If only we could come up with a vaccine against THIS kind of "cancer."

(Still) lamenting over-sexed parenting,

William Campbell Douglass II, M.D.

2615 days ago
6.

PrettyIrishWoman    

TMZ,

According to an mtv.com article dated 2/16/07, it states:

"Nicole Richie was charged Friday (February 16) with misdemeanor driving under the influence. The complaint alleges Richie was under the influence of an alcoholic beverage and an unspecified drug when she was arrested."

So, what is the truth here?

2615 days ago
7.

Terry    

Come Vist Sunny California
Ok young adults listen up, Driving on Vicodin, pot, and drinking up to .08 alcohol (or under if your a freeway wimp) is ok in California! Pack those baggies, Call the doc, summer is almost here Ye haw!

Be sure to stop in Belverly Hills and say howdy.

2615 days ago
8.

SuperStarSteve    

Driving under the influence can be a combination of alcohol, drugs, excedrin, benzos,, etc. A B.A.C. of .08 with other substances could indeed qualify as a valid reason for suspension as it is the cumulative effect of said substances that would affect a person's driving judgement....I guess driving down the wrong way on the freeway wasn't big enough a red flag for the D.A.s office????? Now they're saying there wasn't enough alcohol but enough of everything else to impair her judgement, but based on alcoholic ingestion alone, they can't do an automatic suspension. Thanks for all these new defense precedents for the rest of us to work off of when we're into out pot and drink some booze to ease the dry throat..then pop a few pills to mellow it out. As long as I'm below an .08 I can do whatever drugs I want. GREAT!

2615 days ago
9.

mary    

Drugs are ok but alcohol not...good to know...right nicole?

2615 days ago
10.

Sammy    

SICK OF WASTING YOUR TIME WISHING DEATH UPON RICH PEOPLE HEIRESS'S LIKE NICOLE AND PARIS????

THEN STEP OUTSIDE INTO THE WORLD, GO PLANT A TREE, GO DANCE UNDER THE SUN, LAY OUT AT THE BEACH!

I promise you, there A LOT more better ways to spend your time other than wishing death on people you don't know, and making your life miserable by caring so much..

P.S. Just so those of you who are wondering why it seems better to be on drugs as opposed to alcohol... It isn't but the fact that she said "No I haven't been drinking, I 'admit' I did take a vicodin and smoked some pot" It looks like she is "being honest" with the cops, and that looks better. You tell them a true story and you get off A LOT easier.

Look at me I stole money and had 20 illigal pills and all I got was a year probation, it's all because I was honest. I learned my lesson too, don't steal money and don't have drugs in your car. DUH! haha!

Whatever, like I said go do something with yourselves, as momma always said, "If ya can't say anything nice don't say anything at all!"
Go on a hike, like Nicole, that will get your asses in shape, im sure of it.

PEACE!

2611 days ago
11.

Man    

One can only take charge of one's own life really... Probably was the vicodin that impaired her driving more so than the pot. Pot is known to cause less impairment to a persons driving ability than alcohol (although I would never recommend driving under the influence of any of these substances).

Also, another issue has been suggested by some of the comments. A kind of indignation that a person can get away with driving under the influence of an illegal drug (in this case cannabis), but not alcohol. Well, lets not let bureaucracy overcome pragmatism. The fact is, as I mentioned before, cannabis generally causes less impairment to a persons driving than alcohol and other prescription drugs (a lot of the worst drugs you can take are prescription, by the way). Although when combined with other intoxicants it can tend to augment that intoxicants effect.

But the real issue here is that you can do what the f**k you want as long as you've got money.

2610 days ago
12.

Jax    

I got arrested afew years back for driving on vicodin and xanax. YES, I went to jail, and YES I deserved it. They even slapped me with a nice little felony that has ruined my life...It will still be at least 5 years more till I get my license back...It sickens me that Nicole is getting special treatment.

2597 days ago
13.

ha    

People.com noted this months ago. Get with it, TMZ.

2616 days ago
14.

Lucretius    

Oh well then, as long as it was just drugs...

2616 days ago
15.

the way it is    

oh well im stoned and on perscribed drugs and uh.... i dont eat,..... and uh well i guess i can still drive. ok heres your ticket and have a nice day!

2616 days ago
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