Top 15 Celebrity DUI Arrests: A Closer Look at the Dark Side of Fame


In the glitzy world of celebrities, fame often comes with its own set of troubles, and one of the most common issues is driving under the influence (DUI). Being rich and famous can provide access to alcohol, extravagant parties, and the means to afford legal representation, but it also means being in the public eye, with every misstep amplified by the media. While some celebrities manage to escape the full consequences of their actions, others face life-altering repercussions. In this article, Calvin Barry, a top Toronto DUI lawyer looks at the top 15 celebrity DUI arrests that have made headlines and left a lasting impact on their lives.

1. Robert Downey Jr.


Robert Downey Jr., a talented actor and producer, has faced his share of legal troubles. In 1996, he was arrested in Los Angeles county for driving under the influence of drugs. The incident involved a collision with another car while allegedly high on cocaine. Downey’s battle with substance abuse led to multiple court appearances, and he was sentenced to three years in prison. However, he eventually recognized the need for change, and with determination, he cleaned up his act and made a remarkable comeback, achieving super stardom and success.

2. Mel Gibson

Mel Gibson, a celebrated actor and director, faced a DUI arrest in 2006. Police stopped him after observing erratic driving behavior, weaving across lanes, and failing to maintain his lane. The arrest took a shocking turn when Gibson launched into a drunken, anti-Semitic rant. He later apologized for his actions, expressed shame, and underwent probation and alcohol counseling. Since then, Mel Gibson has made a dramatic turnaround in his career.

3. Amanda Bynes


Amanda Bynes, known for her acting career, has had a tumultuous relationship with the law. In 2012, she found herself facing a DUI arrest after crashing her BMW into an SUV in Los Angeles. Prior to this incident, she was involved in a misdemeanor hit and run. Bynes’ legal troubles continued, including charges of reckless driving and driving on a suspended license.

4. Justin Bieber

Pop sensation Justin Bieber faced a DUI arrest in 2014, drawing intense media attention. Miami Beach police arrested him after he failed a sobriety test while driving his yellow Lamborghini Spyder. The charges included DUI, resisting arrest, and driving without a valid license. Bieber’s legal issues extended beyond Miami Beach, leading to a jail sentence for violating probation.

5. Paris Hilton


Socialite and media personality Paris Hilton was charged with DUI in 2006 after being pulled over for speeding at 70 mph in a 40 mph zone in Los Angeles. The police officers suspected she had been drinking earlier at a club, and after failing field sobriety tests, she was arrested. Hilton’s claim that her DUI was the result of craving In-N-Out Burger after drinking alcohol on an empty stomach drew media attention.

6. Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan, a former child star, has faced multiple DUI arrests. In 2007, at the age of 21, she was involved in a car chase with her white SUV in Beverly Hills and faced charges of possession of cocaine, DUI, and other traffic violations. Further DUI incidents occurred in 2010 and 2014. Lohan’s arrests and legal troubles have been a source of concern and public fascination.

7. Mike Tyson


Former boxing champion Mike Tyson faced DUI arrests on multiple occasions. In 2009, he crashed his Bentley into a tree and fled the scene, resulting in a DUI charge. Tyson’s history of DUIs and drug possession raised concerns about his alcohol consumption and personal struggles.

8. Nicole Richie

Nicole Richie, known for her association with the reality show “The Simple Life,” was arrested for DUI in 2006. She was pulled over in Burbank, California, after driving the wrong way down a street and failing a field sobriety test. Richie pleaded no contest to DUI and driving with an open container of alcohol, leading to probation and a fine.

9. Aaron Carter


Singer Aaron Carter faced three DUI arrests. In 2012, he was arrested in Florida, followed by another in Georgia later that year. He faced a DUI charge in Georgia again in 2014. Carter’s legal battles raised concerns about his struggles with substance abuse.

10. Tiger Woods

Golf legend Tiger Woods faced a DUI arrest in May 2017 when he was found asleep in his running car. The toxicology report revealed the presence of five drugs in his system, including painkillers, sleep drugs, and THC from marijuana. Woods’ arrest raised concerns about his well-being and substance use.

11. Heather Locklear


Heather Locklear, known for her roles in “Melrose Place” and “Spin City,” was arrested in September 2008 for DUI. Prosecutors argued that her prescription medications for depression and anxiety impaired her ability to drive safely. Locklear pleaded no contest to reckless driving, and the DUI charge was dropped. She was fined, ordered to complete a driver safety class, and placed on probation.

12. Mark Grace

Former baseball player and Arizona Diamondbacks television analyst, Mark Grace, faced a DUI conviction in 2013. He was sentenced to four months in county jail under a work-release program and two years of probation for his second DUI conviction within 15 months.

13. Ethan Couch


Ethan Couch, the infamous “affluenza” teen, made headlines when he killed four people while driving under the influence in Texas. His defense argued that his privileged upbringing led to a lack of understanding of consequences. Despite prosecutors seeking a 20-year sentence, Couch received probation for involuntary manslaughter but later violated his probation.

14. Michelle Rodriguez

Actress Michelle Rodriguez, known for her roles in “Lost” and “The Fast and the Furious,” faced DUI and hit-and-run charges in 2004. She was sentenced to jail time, community service, an alcohol education program, and probation.

15. Tracy Morgan


Comedian and actor Tracy Morgan was arrested for DUI in 2005. He later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to probation and alcohol education classes.

Celebrities are not immune to the consequences of driving under the influence, and the cases highlighted here serve as cautionary tales. DUI arrests have had a significant impact on the careers and personal lives of these stars. As we learn from their mistakes, it is crucial to remember that addiction affects individuals from all walks of life, and support from family and friends is vital for anyone struggling with substance abuse. Let us use these examples to advocate for responsible decision-making and seek help for those in need, regardless of their fame or fortune.