BURBANK, Calif. (AP) _ Nicole Richie was arrested early Monday for investigation of driving under the influence after her car was reported headed the wrong way on a freeway. Richie, 25, star of "The Simple Life" reality series and daughter of pop singer Lionel Richie, was arrested without incident at 1:45 a.m. PST after she failed a field sobriety test given by California Highway Patrol officers, said CHP officer Todd Workman.
Richie’s 2005 black Mercedes-Benz sport utility vehicle was stopped in the car pool lane of State Highway 134 in Burbank. Other motorists had placed 911 emergency calls around 12:30 a.m. about a car headed against traffic on the freeway, Workman said. Descriptions of the vehicle matched Richie’s. When officers arrived, they found her car facing the right direction.
Richie was placed in the passenger seat of her car, which was found to be operable, and an officer drove the car off the freeway.
"She volunteered the information that she had smoked marijuana and taken Vicodin," the prescription painkiller, Workman said. No drugs were found on her or in the car.
Richie was booked in Glendale for investigation of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, tested for drugs and released later Monday morning, Workman said. The results of the test haven’t been determined, he said.
Bail was set at $15,000, but Richie was released on her own recognizance, Glendale police Agent John Balian said. A Feb. 7 arraignment in Glendale Superior Court was scheduled.
Nicole Perna, a publicist for Richie, replied to an e-mail requesting comment, saying that there would be none. Richie told officers she weighed 85 pounds and was five foot one, Workman said. Her driver’s licence listed her weight as 100 pounds.
In an interview earlier this year with Vanity Fair magazine, Richie acknowledged that she is "too thin" and was receiving treatment to gain weight. The drivers who placed the 911 calls are potential witnesses about whether Richie was driving the wrong way, and authorities were trying to contact them, Workman said. Richie could face an additional charge depending on the information obtained, he said.
Misdemeanour arrests by the CHP in Burbank are routinely handled by Glendale police and courts, Workman said. Burbank is 16 kilometres northeast of downtown Los Angeles.
Richie is best known for starring with sometime-friend Paris Hilton in "The Simple Life."
Hilton faces her own legal troubles: she was charged with misdemeanour drunken driving after her Sept. 7 arrest in Hollywood. Her arraignment is set for Dec. 20.