Lakers owner placed on probation
EmptyVISTA, Calif. -- Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss pleaded guilty Tuesday to misdemeanor drunken driving.
Buss was sentenced to five years' probation and fined $1,900. He was not required to appear in court.
He also admitted he drove with a blood-alcohol level of .13%, above the state limit of .08%.
Buss owns a home in northern San Diego County and was arrested in nearby Carlsbad in May after being stopped for driving his gold Mercedes-Benz on the wrong side of the road.
Buss was under the influence of alcohol or an unspecified drug but refused to take a chemical test, according to a criminal complaint filed by the district attorney's office. He was arrested after failing a field sobriety test.
Prosecutor William Wood said Tuesday there was no evidence that Buss had used any drugs.
The 74-year-old Lakers owner entered his plea in state court through defense attorney David Manning Chodos.
Chodos declined to comment after the hearing.
Buss released a statement through the team after his arrest saying he drove only a short distance but recognized it was a bad decision.
"I was wrong to do it. It was a mistake I will not make again," he said in the statement.
Judge Martin Staven ordered Buss to take part in a first-conviction program and attend a program administered by Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
A telephone message left for a Lakers spokesman was not immediately returned.