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Lohan ordered to wear alcohol monitoring device

Judge forbids actress to drink and requires weekly random drug tests after she missed court appearance.

May 25, 2010|By Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times

Actress Lindsay Lohan left the Beverly Hills courthouse Monday wearing an alcohol monitoring device and the knowledge that she will be subject to weekly random drug tests and probably won't be able to go to Texas to film a movie.

After missing a mandatory court appearance last week because she claimed she was stuck in Cannes, France, after her passport was stolen, Lohan finally faced the judge who responded to her absence by issuing a warrant for her arrest. The 23-year-old actress is on probation for drunk driving.

Judge Marsha N. Revel forbid the actress to consume alcohol, ordered her to wear an alcohol monitoring bracelet and required random drug testing every week in Los Angeles.

As part of Lohan's bail condition, she must attend a weekly alcohol treatment program unless it interferes with a random drug test. Revel set a July 6 hearing to review Lohan's compliance. Her probation could be revoked.

Shawn Chapman Holley, Lohan's attorney, initially protested the conditions on the "Mean Girls" actress, saying that she should be subject to random alcohol testing instead of the weekly monitoring because she is set to film a movie in Texas.

Revel rebuffed her.

"She needs to submit to random drug testing here, not in Texas," Revel said. "I am afraid she is going to have to delay that for now because that would prevent her complying with the court order." Revel warned Lohan that "failure to turn up for a random drug test is the same as a dirty test."

The alcohol monitoring bracelet is a small pager-like device that tests for alcohol in perspiration on the skin numerous times a day. The device sends information to a base typically in the offender's home, which in turn delivers the data to the monitoring company.

Judges and law enforcement authorities around the country use the 10-ounce device to monitor drunk drivers and others convicted of alcohol-related offenses.

The bracelet is equipped with technology similar to that used in Breathalyzers. An "alcohol consumption event" is considered 0.02% blood-alcohol concentration — or the equivalent of a 180-pound male drinking less than two drinks on an empty stomach in less than an hour. About 1% of ingested alcohol escapes the body through perspiration or unnoticeable ethanol vapor.

The device is also designed to be tamperproof. Temperature sensors and an infrared sensor measure the reflective quality of the skin and ensure that nothing has been placed between the skin and the bracelet.

The device was attached to Lohan in a jury room before she walked out the courthouse, where she waded through a throng of more than 100 photographers and reporters, largely ignoring them.

When Lohan missed her court date last Thursday, the judge delivered a tongue-lashing and issued an arrest warrant, which was recalled when the actress paid 10% of a her $100,000 bail. The judge also order the probation revocation hearing on whether the actress has attended an alcohol treatment program each week as ordered. Lohan's lawyer insists she is in substantial compliance.

Holley told Revel that Lohan had missed a class because her uncle died.

Did she attend her uncle's funeral, the judge asked?

Holley said she had not.

richard.winton@latimes.com

Times staff writer Kimi Yoshino contributed to this report.

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