Attorney enters not guilty pleas for Paris Hilton in driving under the influence case in L.A.


LOS ANGELES (AP) – Paris Hilton pleaded not guilty Tuesday to misdemeanor drunken driving charges following her arrest last fall for allegedly weaving around a Hollywood street in her Mercedes-Benz.

Hilton, 25, wasn’t required to be in Superior Court. Her attorney entered the pleas on her behalf to one count each of driving under the influence and driving with a blood-alcohol level of .08 or above.

Judge Michael T. Sauer set a Jan. 23 pretrial hearing date and said the case must go to trial by Feb. 23.

The charges carry a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. However, the minimum penalty for a first-time offender is a fine, probation and participation in an alcohol rehabilitation program.

Hilton’s attorney, Shawn Chapman, declined to speak with reporters after the hearing.

Motorcycle officers said they saw Hilton’s Mercedes-Benz McLaren SLR being driven erratically and stopped it just before 12:30 a.m. on Sept. 7.

Hilton later said she may have been “speeding a little bit” and was on her way to get a hamburger because she had filmed a music video all day without eating.

The hotel heiress, singer, actress and handbag designer said she had drunk only a single margarita at a charity event that evening.

Police said she appeared intoxicated and failed a field sobriety test. Her publicist said she had a blood alcohol level of .08 percent.

Hilton has starred with sometime-friend Nicole Richie in the reality TV show “The Simple Life.”