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Vince Neil pleads guilty to DUI in Las Vegas

Motley Crue front man Vince Neil pleaded guilty to DUI in Las Vegas on Wednesday, January 26. According to Billboard, the singer will serve 15 days in jail and 15 days of house arrest as part of a plea agreement to avoid being charged with misdemeanor driving under the influence, which could have carried a sentence of six months in jail. 

Neil also received a fine of $585. He was ordered to attend drunken driving abatement school and to view a victim impact video online.

The charges stemmed from an incident in June, when Neil was arrested after Las Vegas authorities received a tip about a drunk driver and pulled him over. Neil failed a field sobriety test and was taken into custody, posting bail shortly thereafter. Ironically, police had already been looking for the Motley Crue front man in connection with a complaint from a woman who claimed that Neil had assaulted her earlier in the evening, grabbing and breaking her camera when she tried to take his picture.

Accompanied by his lawyers, Richard Schonfeld and David Chesnoff, Neil avoided the media by appearing 90 minutes early before Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Pro Tem Gerry Zobrist. Media members who arrived for the scheduled 9 AM hearing found that Neil had already appeared, entered his plea and left.

“My understanding is he came in early and they just moved it up,” said court spokeswoman Mary Ann Price.

The re-scheduling of Neil’s appearance, as well as his seemingly light sentence, caused some to speculate about preferential treatment, which attorney David Chesnoff denied. Chesnoff said that he requested the case be moved up because he was due in family court across town on another case.

“There is no preferential treatment,” Chesnoff said. “I got the normal professional courtesy a lawyer gets when he has a scheduling conflict.”

Clark County District Attorney David Roger also denied anything unusual about the proceedings. “He pled guilty to DUI,” Roger said. “The vast majority of people facing a first offense DUI in Nevada don’t face jail time.”

The singer has a long history of alcohol abuse and DUI, but according to law, only certain conditions can be considered in sentencing. Nevada state law dictates that anyone convicted of a second DUI in a seven year period must serve anywhere from ten days to six months in jail. Vince Neil was also arrested for suspicion of DUI in Las Vegas in 2007, but he worked out a deal with prosecutors wherein he pleaded guilty to reckless driving in exchange for them dropping the DUI charge. So this is technically his first DUI conviction in Nevada.

In 1984 Neil pleaded guilty to drunk driving and vehicular manslaughter in an accident that killed his friend Nicholas “Razzle” Dingley, the drummer from Hanoi Rocks. In that case Neil served 20 days in jail and agreed to pay 2.5 million dollars in restitution to victims. That conviction is too old to be considered in this new case, and took place in another state.

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