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Buss pleads guilty to drunk driving

Lakers owner is sentenced to five years' probation and fined $1,900 for misdemeanor.

September 05, 2007|Steve Springer

Lakers owner Jerry Buss entered a guilty plea to misdemeanor drunk driving Tuesday in San Diego Superior Court. Buss, who was arrested in May after being stopped for driving his gold Mercedes-Benz on the wrong side of the road in Carlsbad, was sentenced in a Vista courtroom to five years' probation and fined $1,900.

Judge Martin Staven also ordered the 74-year-old owner to take part in a first-conviction program and attend a program administered by Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

"It was very standard for a first drunk-driving conviction," said prosecutor William Wood. "He was treated exactly like everyone else charged and convicted of that crime."

Buss had a blood-alcohol level of .13%, according to Wood. The state limit is .08. Buss was arrested after failing a field sobriety test. Wood said a subsequent blood test showed no evidence of drugs in Buss' system.

Buss was not required to be in court Tuesday and had no comment after the sentencing..

In a statement released after the arrest, Buss said, "I was wrong to do it. It was a mistake I will not make again."

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