Shannen Doherty Is Arrested in DUI Case


Actress Shannen Doherty, best known for her role as the sassy Brenda Walsh on the television series “Beverly Hills 90210,” was arrested early Thursday in Thousand Oaks on suspicion of drunk driving.

Doherty, 29, of Culver City was pulled over by California Highway Patrol officers about 3 a.m. after they noticed her black Ford pickup weaving in and out of lanes on the northbound Ventura Freeway near Ventu Park Road, said Officer Mike Moriarty.

Where Doherty was going or whether she had spent time in Thousand Oaks before her arrest was unknown, Moriarty said.

Officers conducted a field sobriety test on Doherty at the scene, but Moriarty said he did not know the results. Doherty refused to take a breath test to determine her blood-alcohol level, opting instead for a blood test, he said.


Although standard bail for a drunk-driving arrest is $2,500, Doherty was released on her own recognizance, Moriarty said.

Blood results will be forwarded to the Ventura County district attorney’s office and will be available in five to seven days, he said.

The actress, who could not be reached for comment, faces a Jan. 26 arraignment in Ventura County Superior Court. Repeated calls to her publicist, agent and production company were not returned Thursday.

She now appears on the television series “Charmed” on the WB network. She also appeared in the recent made-for-TV movie “Satan’s School for Girls.”


This is not the first time in court for the actress, once a favorite of Republican Party gatherings where she was noted as a role model for American youth.

She led the Pledge of Allegiance at the Republican National Convention in Houston in 1992.

Four years ago, Doherty had another run-in with the law. She eventually agreed to anger-management counseling and to two years’ probation for the August 1996 incident outside a West Hollywood bar in which she threw a beer bottle at a car window.

For that violation, a Los Angeles County judge ordered Doherty to pay $5,400 or perform 540 hours of community service after she pleaded no contest to a vandalism charge.


Doherty paid the fine and completed the anger-management counseling, court officials said.

Her tempestuous private life has often mirrored her on-screen roles. Doherty had several script battles on “Beverly Hills 90210" while in the role of the twin sister of Brandon, played by Jason Priestley. She left the show in 1994.

In a 1998 interview with The Times, Doherty said her days of fast living and partying were in the past.

Doherty’s arrest Thursday came one day after Priestley had a progress hearing on his own drunk-driving conviction stemming from a Hollywood Hills incident in 1999.


Priestley was arrested in December 1999 on suspicion of felony drunk driving. He pleaded no contest to the drunk-driving charge and will be back in court Jan. 30.