Not drunken driving, but drunken something. Erin Brockovich, it was announced on Sunday, was arrested on suspicion of boating while intoxicated at Lake Mead near Las Vegas.
Indeed, drunken boating — which is another form of DWI — BWI.
Edwin Lyngar, spokesman for the Nevada Department of Wildlife, said that the environmental activist, who was portrayed by Julia Roberts in a 2000 movie that earned Roberts an Oscar, was arrested late Friday night, authorities said, after breathalyzer tests showed her blood-alcohol level was just over twice the legal limit of .08.
Brockovich was tested after a game warden noticed she was struggling while trying to moor her motor boat at the Las Vegas Boat Harbor. She had been apparently been out on Lake Mead with the boat, along with a male companion. She was alone when she tried to dock it, though.
She was not sure how to maneuver the boat into the dock. It’s a simple thing if you can think clearly. But if you add alcohol and unfamiliarity of the area, it can all cause serious problems.
Brockovich, 52, was released from the Clark County Detention Center after posting $1,000 bail.
In a statement issued Sunday, Brockovich apologized, but stressed that she had not operated the boat in open waters. She claimed that she had only moved the boat within its own slip.
At no time was the boat away from the dock and there was no public safety risk. That being said, I take drunk driving very seriously, this was clearly a big mistake, I know better and I am very sorry
After a day in the sun and with nothing to eat it appears that a couple of drinks had a greater impact than I had realized.
Nevada law says that a first-time offense of boating while intoxicated is a misdemeanor that does not require jail time, but does require fines ranging from $1,000 to $2,000. It is unclear if this is Brockovich’s first arrest on BWI.
“Erin Brockovich,” the film that earned Julia Roberts her Academy Award, concerned the activist’s efforts to sue Pacific Gas & Electric for polluting the water supply of a small Southern California town. The film was a huge box office hit, earning over $256 million globally.
Roberts won the Academy Award, Golden Globe, Screen Actors’ Guild Award and BAFTA for Best Actress. In addition, the film itself was nominated for Best Picture and Best Director for Steven Soderbergh at the 73rd Academy Awards.
Early in the film the actual Erin Brockovich has a cameo appearance as a waitress named Julia.