Hottest Drunk Drivers of the Year: 2006 the Year of the Celebrity DUI?

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2006 has been a banner year for drunk driving among the rich and famous. From football Hall-of-Famers like Carl Eller to high-profile politicians like U.S. Representative Patrick Kennedy to those famous just for being famous, like Paris Hilton, getting arrested for DUI seems to have been high on the celebrity "to do" list for 2006. Actor Mel Gibson's DUI has kept him in the news for months, while Boxer Mike Tyson and Academy Award nominated director Gus Van Sant snuck in just under the wire with DUI arrests during the last week of the year. For more information on these celebrity DUI arrests and additional celebrity drunk driving news items, visit the Celebrity DUI Spotlight on the Total DUI website at http://www.TotalDUI.com.

Actors, musicians, professional athletes, politicians and high-profile businessmen seemed to be lining up to get arrested for drunk driving in 2006, and Total DUI has been tracking them all on its Celebrity DUI Spotlight.

Some areas have been harder hit than others: not only have more than a dozen professional football players and coaches been arrested for DUI in the second half of 2006 (one of them in the nude), but eight players for the Cincinnati Bengals alone have been arrested, several for DUI. After multiple arrests of his own, Chris Henry was also along for the ride when teammate Odell Thurman was picked up for drunk driving. Koren Robinson of the Minnesota Vikings and Marcus Coleman of the Dallas Cowboys were released after their DUI arrests.

Actors and musicians weren't arrested in such large numbers, but their stories drew more attention and stayed in the news longer. Lost actress Michelle Rodriguez made the news when she was arrested for drunk driving on the same night as another Lost actress, Cynthia Watros, and then again when her 60 day jail sentence ended in release a mere five hours after she'd surrendered herself. Mel Gibson's now-infamous anti-Semitic rant continues to make headlines as various groups honor, support, denigrate, condemn, and capitalize on his name.

John Michael Montgomery's arrest received more publicity for the conduct of the arresting officer than the singer himself, and the allegation that Montgomery was carrying a firearm illegally when arrested didn't receive nearly so much press coverage as the doctored photograph on the arresting officer's blog.

People who should know better, including U.S. Representative Patrick Kennedy and Molson Coors Brewing Co. mogul Pete Coors joined the likes of Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie and former pro-wrestler Bam Bam Bigelow in failing (or in some cases refusing) blood alcohol testing. 98 Degrees vocalist Jeff Timmons tried in vain to capitalize on his fame with an officer who'd never heard of him, Tom Wopat re-enacted his Dukes of Hazzard days by plowing through traffic cones, and former heavyweight champion of the world Mike Tyson broke out of years of obscurity with a DUI arrest in the last days of the year.

Other notable DUI arrests of the year include Academy Award nominated director Gus Van Sant, former SNL regular Tracy Morgan, Sopranos actor John Ventimiglia, Portland Pirates head coach Kevin Dineen, Oakland A's pitcher Esteban Loaiza, and Sixth Sense child star Haley Joel Osment.

For more information on any of these celebrity DUI arrests, visit the Celebrity DUI Spotlight on Total DUI, or see these news stories for details:

CNN Story on Paris Hilton arrest: http://www.cnn.com/2006/SHOWBIZ/TV/09/07/parishilton/index.html

Minnesota Public Radio Story on Carl Eller arrest: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2006/03/02/eller/

Washington Post Story on Patrick Kennedy arrest:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/13/AR2006061300627.html

CNN Story on Mel Gibson arrest: http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/08/02/gibson.charged/index.html

AOL News Story on Mike Tyson arrest:

http://sports.aol.com/news/articles/_a/tyson-arrested-on-drug-possession-charge/n20061229124709990005

ABC News Story on Gus Van Sant arrest: http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory?id=2746446&CMP=OTC-RSSFeeds0312

Cincinnati Post Story on Bengals arrests (Deltha O'Neal, Chris Henry, Reggie McNeal): http://news.cincypost.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061213/SPT03/612130310/1035

Fox Sports Story on Bengals arrests: http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/6255174

Washington Post List of NFL Players arrested in 2006: http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/6255174

Fox News Story on Michelle Rodriguez and Cynthia Watros arrests: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,180193,00.html

MSNBC Story on John Michael Montgomery arrest: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11389352/

Denver Post Story on Pete Coors arrest: http://www.denverpost.com/ci_4046846

CNN Story on Nicole Richie arrest: http://www.cnn.com/2006/SHOWBIZ/TV/12/11/people.nicolerichie.ap/index.html

St. Petersburg Times Story on Scott "Bam Bam" Bigelow arrest: http://www.sptimes.com/2006/08/02/Citrus/Former_pro_wrestling_.shtml

Yahoo! Music News Story on Jeff Timmons arrest: http://music.yahoo.com/read/news/36100183

MSNBC Story on Tom Wopat arrest: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11877869/

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TIFFANY SANDERS
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