A Malibu Municipal Court commissioner Wednesday granted actor Jan-Michael Vincent a 120-day stay on a jail sentence for a parole violation and ordered him to use the time attending an alcoholism treatment program.
Commissioner Richard L. Brand ordered Vincent, 41, the star of the canceled television series "Airwolf," to continue counseling sessions begun about two weeks ago at Alternative Action Programs in West Los Angeles.
Vincent was sentenced to 30 days in jail in late May after he admitted driving a car within six hours of consuming liquor. The court earlier had determined that this was a violation of probation imposed in December, 1983, when the actor pleaded guilty to drunk driving.
The decision to stay the sentence came after Brand received a letter of favorable evaluation on Vincent from the alcohol program's director, Dennis Giroux.
Brand said he was impressed that Vincent "sought help for his problem." He told Vincent to return to court Nov. 12 with another letter from Giroux, stating the actor's progress.
Vincent's attorney, Ronald Carpol, denied Deputy Dist. Atty. Greg Jessner's allegation that Vincent began attending the alcohol program to avoid the jail sentence.
Vincent told Brand that he failed to attend a hearing July 9, when he was scheduled to begin serving the jail sentence, because of a "misunderstanding."
The actor later told reporters that he does not believe that he has a drinking problem but that he "does drink."
Vincent, whose fiancee, Joanne Robinson, 26, appeared in court with him, said he thought the judge's decision was "fair."
In an unrelated incident, Vincent is scheduled to go to trial July 28 on a felony charge of breaking a woman friend's nose outside his Malibu home.