The big news this week isn’t the Gulf oil spill (though it should be). The immigration debate is even taking a back seat in many ways to what’s making headlines right now. Are you ready?
Lindsay Lohan is going to jail.
Oh, come on…did anybody really think this was outside the realm of possibility? Did we really believe she was going to clean up her act? What’s so huge about her going to jail?
That’s right, I almost forgot – she pitched a snit fit, as did her lawyer, her mom and just about everyone else there NOT in the media. Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure I heard that some of them went spastic, too.
Lindsay cried and begged the judge not to throw her in jail in a display of wanton childishness that I haven’t seen since Paris Hilton was sentenced to 45 days (and only served five). Her lawyer said, “all we want is for Lindsay to be treated like everyone else and that hasn’t happened so far.” Mother Dina said, “This is so not fair to do this to my child,” while dad Michael described being in jail himself after insider trading charges and railed against the use of prescription drugs to treat addiction to narcotics.
That is high-larious. Here’s the sequence of events: July 2007 Lohan is arrested for DUI. It’s her second so far. What makes this arrest stand out is not just that it’s her second DUI in as many months; she’s also found in possession of a usable amount of cocaine. She first tries to make the excuse that someone gave it to her and she didn’t know what it was (if I only had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that…), then tells the truth in court and pleads guilty. She’s given one day in jail, ten days of community service and three years of probation. She’s ordered to rehab, alcohol education and is ordered to wear a SCRAM anklet to monitor her for alcohol – because the judge orders her to stay away from the stuff. In multiple interviews she admits to being addicted to narcotics and alcohol. She serves no less than three stints, not just one, in different rehabilitation centers.
During all of this she repeatedly failed to obey the terms of her probation. She didn’t go to alcohol education as promised. Her SCRAM anklet went off, notifying her parole officer that she’d been drinking. On May 27 she was ordered to take a drug and alcohol test and tested positive for both. To top it all off, when she was called to court to answer for all of this, she failed to show and a string of Twitter messages told the story that her passport had been stolen and she was stuck in Cannes. To be fair, that is entirely possible, and losing your passport can be a nightmare. The judge did rescind the arrest warrant that had been issued and rescheduled a new hearing. That hearing resulted in a new hearing held yesterday. Today, she and her family are decrying the judge’s decision as unfair.
I’d like to know what’s so unfair about it. Two DUI’s in a short period of time, an MVA (motor vehicle accident), possession of a dangerous narcotic, and repeated probation violations will eventually add up to more serious punishment. Did Lohan’s attorney or family really think that because she’s Lindsay Lohan the judge was going to give her a smack on the wrist and an admonishment not to do it again?
Occasionally, if I’m not working (obviously), I’ll go to the Maricopa County Superior Court in downtown Phoenix and observe criminal court hearings. I’ve observed arraignments, trials, and sentencing hearings. Having an education in the subject has helped me understand things that most people don’t. The sentencing hearings are the most interesting. I always hear the same things: I’m so sorry, I don’t know what I was thinking, just give me a chance, I’ll do better next time, I promise, blah, blah, blah. I can almost recite it in my sleep because I’ve heard it so often and always in the same wording (not counting the time I was a corrections officer, I heard plenty during those days, too). Drug addicts turn to assault, burglary and armed robbery to fund their habits. I once listened to a man who’d been arrested breaking into a car promise the judge all the same things I’d heard before – then listened to the judge say, “this is your third offense.” My mouth dropped open in shock. That was because of what came next: on the first offense, he was given probation; on the second, he went to prison. He’d only been out of prison for two months and he’d gone right back to his old life.
Lindsay is right about one thing – this is unfair. Not unfair in the sense that she’s going to jail after repeated probation violations; it’s unfair that she’s getting 90 days in jail and 90 days in rehab. That’s it? Are you kidding? Normal pukes like me would have the book thrown at us for violating probation after two DUI’s and discovery of narcotic abuse. When you’re Lindsay Lohan and you have a hell of a lot of money and you don’t need to pass drug tests to get the job you need so you can pay the bills, where is the incentive to NOT use that crap? JAIL.
Through her probation officer we’ve also learned that she takes Trazadone for depression, Zoloft to sleep, Adderall to get up after the Zoloft does its job, Nexium for heartburn, and Dilaudid – aka hydromorphone, an extremely powerful narcotic analgesic, one I hope I never have need for – for supposed “dental pain”. Having been in the music biz for a little while, I learned that when you’ve got a big enough name there’s always a doctor willing to write a script for any drug you want, so I’m not buying her use of hydromorphone “for as long as she can remember” according to reports. HIPAA may guarantee she has the right to privacy but I think both her probation officer and that judge should be looking into how long she’s been taking it and what she’s taking it for. That’s a pretty powerful drug to be taking for a dental procedure that we never heard anything about. Plus, she’s reported to have asthma and she smokes. No self-respecting physician would prescribe this drug under those circumstances because it can severely exacerbate breathing problems. Other counter-indications say that it shouldn’t be used unless other narcotic analgesics have been used for a long period of time and are no longer effective. What does that tell us?
I hope she gets her life in order. I’m not just railing because she’s a starlet who expected a break. I genuinely hope she finds a way to clean up her life. I like seeing happy endings once in a while.