Malibu police received a call at around 5 pm Sunday about a minor single-car accident. When they arrived at the scene, they discovered actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers acting as though he were under the influence. The actor was given a sobriety test, which he failed, and was subsequently arrested on misdemeanor DUI charges.
California Vehicle Code 23152(a)VC makes it illegal for a person to drive a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Most people are considered to be under the influence of alcohol if their blood alcohol level is .08 or higher at the time of testing. However, it’s possible to be charged with a DUI even if the suspect’s blood alcohol level is below .08 if they’re showing signs of inebriation.
When a person is given a field sobriety test, such as a breathalyzer, and they fail, they’re usually charged with two crimes: VC 23152(a), which is driving under the influence, as well as 23152(b) (driving with an excessive blood alcohol level). Sometimes both charges stick, sometimes only one. However, even when charged with two crimes, it still counts as one DUI.
The penalties for a DUI hinges upon the nature of the crime. For example, first-time DUI in 10 years can be penalized by 3 to 5 years of summary probation, DUI school, attendance at a victim’s panel, several thousand dollars in fines, driver’s license suspension (if it happens, it’s usually for 6 months), 48 hours to 6 months in jail (usually no jail time if the defendant is given probation, which first-timers usually are), and work release (depending on the county).
Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ career spans several decades, and he’s most noted for his work on multiple projects dating back to the mid-90s. Unfortunately for the actor, this isn’t the first time alcohol has gotten the better of him. 2 years ago, he went on a drunken rant at his wife while on an American Airlines flight.