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CHP Wants Drunk-Driving Charges Filed Against Actor

Crime: Decision is expected this week whether to prosecute Kelsey Grammer, injured in a weekend accident.

September 25, 1996|JOSE CARDENAS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

AGOURA HILLS — The California Highway Patrol recommended Tuesday that drunk-driving charges be filed against Kelsey Grammer, star of the TV series "Frasier," who was injured when his Dodge Viper flipped during the weekend--the latest of his troubles with the law dating back to 1988.

The city attorney's office is expected to decide later this week whether to prosecute.

The wreck occurred about 7:45 p.m. Saturday on Cornell Road just south of Mulholland Highway in the unincorporated Malibu Lake area, Officer Rhett Price said.

The multi-Emmy winner "apparently allowed the car to drift to the right shoulder of the roadway and over-corrected," Price said. Grammer then swerved across the roadway and hit a dirt embankment, which caused the car to overturn.

A CHP officer "observed the alcoholic-beverage effects and asked him to submit to a test to confirm that," Price said.

"Based upon the officer's observation at the scene," Price said, "the officer had enough reasonable cause to believe [Grammer] was under the influence of alcohol."

The actor was arrested, treated at a hospital for a minor head injury, and released on his own recognizance.

Grammer, 40, agreed to a blood-alcohol test, Price said, and the results are pending.

The red 1994 sports car had major damage, Price said.

A spokeswoman for the show "Frasier" offered the following statement: "Kelsey was in a minor accident in which no other passengers or cars were involved. He suffered minor abrasions and is recuperating at home this week."

Grammer plays the pompous Frasier Crane, a Harvard-trained psychiatrist turned Seattle radio talk show host. The show--a spinoff of "Cheers," in which Grammer co-starred--has been among the top-rated shows since its debut several years ago.

Grammer's legal troubles date back to April 1988 when LAPD officers stopped his car for expired license plate tags and booked him for drunk driving. Officers later testified that a small bag of cocaine fell from Grammer's pocket while he sat in the patrol car.

Grammer was sentenced to 30 days in jail and 10 days working with Caltrans highway cleanup crews.

He was arrested again in August 1990 on another cocaine-possession allegation and sentenced to three years' probation, fined $500 and given 300 hours community service.

In January 1991 he was given an additional two years for violating his original probation by admitting to using cocaine while on a trip, according to court records.

In February 1995, a New Jersey grand jury declined to indict Grammer on charges that he had sex with a 15-year-old girl two years before. There was no physical evidence in that case, according to the jury.

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