NBA’s Lamar Odom charged with DUI, due in court in two weeks
Lamar Odom has been charged with driving under the influence, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office said Friday.
The NBA free agent was arrested Aug. 30 after he was spotted allegedly driving erratically on the 101 Freeway in the San Fernando Valley, the California Highway Patrol said.
CHP officials said they spotted Odom driving a white Mercedes sports utility vehicle eastbound on the 101 Freeway near Sepulveda Boulevard. The driver was driving in a “serpentine manner” at speeds of about 50 mph.
He is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 27.
Authorities tried to pull over Odom, but he continued driving eastbound, passing Van Nuys Boulevard and Woodman Avenue. He exited at Coldwater Canyon Boulevard and came to a stop, CHP officials said.
Odom showed “objective signs of intoxication and was unable to perform field sobriety tests as explained and demonstrated,” according to a CHP report.
At the Van Nuys jail, Odom refused all chemical tests and was booked without incident, CHP officials said.
Drivers suspected of DUI may refuse to take tests in the field, but once they are at a police station, they are required to take a chemical test. If they refuse, they lose their driving privileges for a year.
By obtaining a California driver’s license, drivers consent to have their breath, blood or urine tested if they are arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A driver does “not have a right” to consult a lawyer beforehand, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
“If you refuse to submit to any of the tests, you’re driving privilege may be suspended because of your refusal,” according to the department’s handbook. It adds: “Even if you change your mind later and agree to a test, and your BAC [blood alcohol content] measures 0.01% or higher … your driving privileges may be suspended for both reasons.”
The basketball champion and former Sixth Man of the Year hired former O.J. Simpson defense attorney Robert Shapiro to represent him.
Odom has made headlines in recent weeks in connection with alleged drug use, including reports last month that he was missing after a fight with his wife, Khloe Kardashian Odom.
Drug rumors and some doubts about his character bumped him from the top spot in the 1999 draft down to the fourth pick, which is where the Clippers found him. He played for the Miami Heat, the Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks before returning to the Clippers last year.
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