Gibson Arrested on Suspicion of DUI

Times Staff Writer

A stretch of Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu could tell some tales.

The main road through the celebrity-studded beach community is where Robert Downey Jr. was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in 1996. And where Nick Nolte was picked up in 2002 for the same reason, resulting in a famous mug shot. Earlier this year, a Swedish businessman crashed his rare Ferrari Enzo on the road, creating an international stir.

On Friday, Academy Award-winning director Mel Gibson was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in Malibu after a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy clocked him at 80 mph -- twice the speed limit -- on the road.

Gibson, who starred in the “Lethal Weapon” movies and directed “The Passion of the Christ” and “Braveheart,” was stopped about 2:30 a.m. as he drove his 2006 Lexus Coupe near La Tuna Canyon Road.


The deputy briefly talked with Gibson and, after smelling alcohol in the car, administered breath and field sobriety tests, said Steve Whitmore, a Sheriff’s Department spokesman. Gibson’s blood-alcohol level was measured at 0.12%. The legal limit for driving is 0.08% in California.

Gibson was taken to the Malibu-Lost Hills sheriff’s station, where he was booked on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and released on $5,000 bail.

Calls to Gibson’s spokesman were not returned Friday. Department of Motor Vehicles records show that Gibson had no previous driving-related convictions or accidents in California.

Sheriff’s officials declined to release Gibson’s mug shot, saying the investigator wanted to temporarily withhold it, citing the ongoing inquiry. Whitmore said the widely disseminated mug shot of Nolte was released without proper authorization.