Veteran character actor Jeffrey Wright dodged a bullet today when New York prosecutors dropped his DWI case.
TMZ broke the story ... Wright -- who's been in about a million movies (roughly) -- was popped by cops back in April on suspicion on boozing while driving. Cops claimed he failed a field sobriety test ... failed miserably.
Sources close to the case tell us ... NY State prosecutors decided to drop the case, because of a lack of evidence.
Here's what's a little wonky. If Wright failed the field sobriety test so badly and he can be prosecuted for driving while impaired (even with a very low blood-alcohol level) -- where's the lack of evidence?
Judge to Michael Madsen
You Need Serious Help
With Your Booze Problem
6/20/2013 11:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
"Reservoir Dogs" actor Michael Madsen has a really bad booze problem that needs immediate attention -- so says the judge in his DUI case ... who just ordered Madsen to check in to a live-in alcohol treatment facility.
Madsen appeared in court in Van Nuys today sporting a nasty black eye. It's unclear how he got the shiner ... but the actor has bigger problems.
The actor had been ordered to appear in court today after the judge revoked his probation stemming from his 2012 arrest ... when he was popped on PCH in a gleaming red hot rod with a blood alcohol level over twice the legal limit (allegedly).
Madsen had struck a plea deal in the case, in which he agreed to attend AA classes -- but we're told he blew them off, so the judge revoked his probation.
Today ... the judge decided he needed some extra help with his alcohol problem ... and ordered him to enroll in a residential treatment facility for at least 30 days.
The judge ordered Madsen not to leave the facility without court approval -- and said the court would reevaluate the situation after the 30-day period based on a progress report from the facility.
Madsen was ordered to check in to the program within 72 hours.
Bobby Brown's Brother
6/15/2013 5:10 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Allegedly driving under the influence runs in Bobby Brown's family -- TMZ has learned his older brother Tommy was arrested early this morning for misdemeanor DUI.
Brown was busted just after midnight by Cobb County PD. He was popped for speeding (a misdemeanor) and driving under the influence (also a misdemeanor).
He was booked into Cobb County Adult Detention and is being held on $1,650. Brown is still in custody.
For his part, Bobby has been convicted of DUI three times, most recently back in February.
Tommy appeared on "Being Bobby Brown" and "The Houstons: On Our Own." He was popped back in March for driving on a suspended license charge and improper passing of an emergency/towing/highway vehicle.
UFC's Ricco Rodriguez
6/15/2013 12:25 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Ex-UFC champ Ricco Rodriguez has just dodged the strong arm of the law in his drunk driving arrest ... TMZ has learned.
The "Celebrity Rehab" Season 1 alum was arrested in March on suspicion of DUI.
Rico copped a deal, and pled no contest to "wet reckless" -- reckless driving involving alcohol. It's not as serious as DUI, but gets the point across. The DUI charges were dropped.
The former champ won't spend any time in the pokey, but he will be on probation for 3 years. And he was socked with the obligatory $300 fine and a 12-hour alcohol ed program.
Sometimes it's better to throw in the towel.
Saves Himself from Driving Drunk
6/14/2013 11:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Sean Kingston was thiiiiis close to making a TERRIBLE decision last night -- getting behind the wheel of his car after a night of boozing -- but at the last second, he GOT OUT OF THE DRIVER'S SEAT ... thanks to our camera guy.
The 23-year-old rapper was leaving Playhouse nightclub in Hollywood around 2am after a night of partying ... and beelined straight for the driver's seat of his Bentley.
But right before he hit the road, an intoxicated Sean had a moment of clarity ... and JUMPED out of the driver's seat so a sober person could take the wheel. The funny part ... he actually tried to blame TMZ for shaming him into making the right move.
"This is what TMZ wants to catch -- they want to catch a DUI!" Kingston says. "NOT ME!!!"
We're glad he made the right decision ... but there's one thing that's still bothering us about the situation -- would he have driven the car if our camera WASN'T there?
Erin Brockovich Boat Arrest
Cop Says She Slapped Her Husband ... Threw Cell Phone Into Lake
6/11/2013 10:52 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Erin Brockovich has officially been charged with drunk driving a boat last week -- after police say she threw a cell phone into the water, slapped her husband, and openly admitted she was a TERRIBLE boat driver.
TMZ has obtained the police report from the incident last Friday on Lake Mead in Nevada -- and according to the doc, Brockovich and her husband were fighting loudly on board their boat when a game warden approached to investigate the situation.
According to the warden, he observed Brockovich throw a cell phone in the lake and then slap her husband ... which is interesting ... because Brockovich's husband filed for divorce last year. (The divorce has since been called off.)
The warden says he asked Brockovich to dock her boat but she stated that she was "not very good at driving" it -- so the warden helped guide it in himself.
At that point, the warden suspected Brockovich was under the influence -- claiming she smelled like booze and was slurring her speech. According to the warden, she also blew a .186 and .190 on the breathalyzer ... MORE than double the legal limit, which is .08.
Brockovich was subsequently placed under arrest. She has since apologized for her actions.
The Mug Shot [PHOTO]
6/10/2013 10:55 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Erin Brockovich's new mug shot is pretty rough and pretty shocking ... but that's what you get when you operate a boat wasted ... allegedly.
TMZ broke the story ... Brockovich was popped over the weekend for operating a boat under the influence.
A Nevada game warden spotted Brockovich struggling to dock her vessel at Lake Mead ... her BAC was nearly double the .08 legal limit.
Brockovich apologized this morning ... insisting she didn't endanger anyone because she wasn't boating in open waters -- just moving the boat "within its own slip."
"That being said, I take drunk driving very seriously, this was clearly a big mistake, I know better and I am very sorry,” she added.
We're told Brockovich is free on bail after briefly docking at the Clark County Detention Center.
Arrested for Drunk Driving
... a Boat!!!
6/9/2013 1:17 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Brockovich just released the following statement:
“I apologize for my actions Friday evening. After a day in the sun and with nothing to eat it appears that a couple of drinks had a greater impact than I had realized. It is very important to note that I was not operating the boat in open waters, I was moving it within its own slip. At no time was the boat away from the dock and there was no public safety risk. That being said, I take drunk driving very seriously, this was clearly a big mistake, I know better and I am very sorry."
Erin Brockovich -- who was famously immortalized by Julia Roberts in the movie about her life -- was arrested in Las Vegas on Friday for allegedly operating her boat while under the influence ... TMZ has learned.
The Nevada Department of Wildlife tells TMZ one of their game wardens observed Brockovich (now Brockovich-Ellis following her marriage in 1999) struggling to dock her boat at Lake Mead, just outside Boulder City.
When the warden attempted to offer assistance, he noticed she "exhibited several signs of an intoxicated boater." The cop conducted an investigation and subsequently arrested Brockovich for OUI (operating under the influence).
A law enforcement source tells TMZ that Brockovich's blood alcohol content was almost twice the legal limit of .08.
Brockovich was taken to Clark County Detention Center. We're told she was cooperative during the investigation and arrest.
Nickelodeon Star Cody Longo
Busted for DUI
Allegedly Flashed Other Drivers
6/7/2013 4:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... 25-year-old Longo -- who's also appeared on "Days of Our Lives" and "Piranha 3D" -- was driving in Hollywood around 2:30 AM Thursday morning when cops noticed him driving like a complete d-bag.
Sources tell us ... Longo was driving aggressively ... following too close to another car and flashing it with his high beams.
Once cops pulled the guy over, we're told officers noticed Longo reeked of booze -- so they performed various field sobriety tests ... which he bombed.
One source tells us ... Longo's blood alcohol level was .19 and .20 ... more than twice the legal limit.
Longo was arrested and hauled to a nearby police station where he was booked ... and later released after posting $15,000 bail.
A rep for Longo tells us, "This was an unfortunate misunderstanding," adding, "Cody takes it very seriously as his focus is music and acting."
GUILTY IN DUI CASE
No Booze for 6 Months
6/6/2013 7:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Farrah Abraham just pled GUILTY in her Nebraska DUI case -- and as a result, she's been ordered to stay ALCOHOL-FREE for six whole months, TMZ has learned.
We broke the story ... the former MTV star turned porn queen had struck a plea deal with prosecutors -- and got probation instead of jail stemming from her March arrest.
As part of the deal, Farrah was sentenced to 6 months probation, a $500 fine, and was ordered to install an ignition interlock device in her car -- one of the machines that requires the driver to submit to a breath test before the engine will start.
The judge in the case also required 22-year-old Farrah to not consume one single drop of alcohol during her probation.
Farrah was initially charged with disorderly conduct and refusing to take a field sobriety test -- but those charges were dropped as part of the plea deal.
Plea Deal in DUI Case
... NO JAIL
6/4/2013 12:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
"Teen Mom" turned porn star Farrah Abraham won't serve a day behind bars for DUI ... assuming the judge approves a plea deal she just struck with prosecutors, TMZ has learned.
An official at the Douglas County D.A.'s Office tells us, Farrah has agreed to plead guilty to aggravated DUI on June 20th ... in exchange, prosecutors agreed to ask for probation instead of jail.
As we reported, Farrah was popped for DUI in Nebraska back in March ... allegedly blowing a .147 ... nearly twice the legal limit. Farrah originally pled NOT guilty.
In addition to probation, prosecutors will ask the judge to suspend Farrah's driving privileges and order her to pay $500 in fines ... but that's it ... zero time in the pokey.
The remaining charges against Farrah -- disorderly conduct and refusing to take a field sobriety test -- will be dropped.
'Devils Ride' Badass
Cops Sweet Deal
After Drunken Joyride
6/3/2013 3:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
"The Devils Ride" star Chris Boultinghouse just dodged a bullet (metaphorically speaking) -- the roughneck biker struck a deal in his DUI case and only had to serve ONE day in jail.
Chris -- known as "White Boi" on Discovery's show about real life biker gangs -- was trying to cut a deal following his November DUI arrest ... in which cops say he drunkenly smashed his Escalade into a Prius and then fled the scene.
Chris faced two charges of DUI and one charge of Hit-and-Run.
Now, we've learned ... White Boi got his wish and struck a deal this week. The terms: in exchange for pleading no contest to two of the charges -- driving with a B.A.C. level of .08 or higher and Hit-and-Run -- his second DUI charge was dropped.
As for the punishment part ... 3 years probation, $390 in fines, 3 months first offender alcohol program, 80 hours of community service and ONE day in jail ... which he already served.
Now he can get back to doing this ...
Barbara Walters' Daughter
Drunk and Abusive
During DUI Arrest
5/21/2013 10:12 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Barbara Walters' daughter was so out of control during her DUI arrest, she had to be "taken to the ground" so she wouldn't run into traffic ... this according to the police report obtained by TMZ.
We broke the story ... 44-year-old Jacqueline Walters Danforth -- who famously discussed her troubled teenage years on various TV specials with her mom -- was arrested for DUI in Naples, FL on May 19.
According to the report, Jacqueline was in the driver's seat of a Honda Pilot which was stopped by police around 1:24 AM ... after cops received reports about an SUV stopped on the highway without its lights on.
During the encounter, cops say both Jackie and a male passenger -- described as her BF -- appeared to be extremely intoxicated.
Cops say ... they went to place the man in handcuffs -- which pissed Jackie off ... so she grabbed at one of the officers and "began shouting."
The arresting officer states in the report, "I was afraid that the suspect may run into traffic on the highway, so she was taken to the ground due to her unpredictable behavior, then secured in handcuffs."
According to the report, Jacqueline eventually took a breathalyzer test and blew a .218 -- more than TWICE the legal limit.
She was eventually arrested for DUI ... and was released several hours later on $1,000 bond.