Nicole Richie arrested on DUI charge

Times Staff Writer

Celebutante Nicole Richie was arrested early Monday on suspicion of driving under the influence after motorists spotted her driving the wrong way on the 134 Freeway in Burbank, the CHP said.

The 25-year-old celebrity, known as the friend of Paris Hilton and who stars with the heiress on the television show “The Simple Life,” was booked at the California Highway Patrol’s Glendale-Verdugo Hills Station on the single misdemeanor charge after her arrest at 1:45 a.m. She was taken to the Glendale city jail, then released at 7:17 a.m. after posting $15,000 bail.

Officers assigned to the CHP’s Altadena office responded to reports by motorists that a sport utility vehicle was traveling east in the westbound lanes of the 134 Freeway, near the Buena Vista Street entrance in Burbank, the CHP said. When officers arrived, they found Richie had stopped in the carpool lane and was the lone occupant of the vehicle. She admitted to officers that she had smoked marijuana and taken the painkiller Vicodin, said CHP Sgt. Mark Garrett.

Unlike the DUI arrest of Paris Hilton in September, which was captured in minute detail by a swarm of paparazzi, CHP officials said Richie’s arrest was uneventful. In 2003, Richie was arrested for heroin possession and spent time in rehabilitation. Authorities would not say whether Monday’s arrest violated terms of her probation on that charge.

Earlier this year, production of “The Simple Life” was postponed because Richie had entered a treatment facility to deal with her inability to gain weight.