Byline: Associated Press
LAKE MEAD, Nev. (AP) — Environmental activist Erin Brockovich, portrayed by Julia Roberts in an Oscar-winning 2000 movie about her fight over the pollution of a California town’s drinking water, was arrested on suspicion of boating while intoxicated at Lake Mead, near Las Vegas, authorities said.
Brockovich was arrested June 7 after breath tests showed her blood alcohol level was just over twice the legal limit of .08, said Edwin Lyngar, a spokesman for the Nevada Department of Wildlife.
She will face a misdemeanor charge of operating a boat while intoxicated, the district attorney in Las Vegas decided June 11. Brockovich, 52, has an Oct. 7 court date in Henderson Justice Court, said Tess Driver, an aide to Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson.
A Nevada state game warden reported that Brockovich had appeared to argue aboard a 26-foot Cobra powerboat with her husband, Eric Ellis, and threw a cellphone into the water before having trouble mooring the vessel at Las Vegas Boat Harbor. The warden said he had to help Brockovich dock the boat, and he said two breath tests measured her blood-alcohol level at twice the legal limit.
The criminal complaint refers to Brockovich by her full name, Erin Elizabeth Brockovich-Ellis.
She could face six months in jail, a $1,000 fine, up to 96 hours of community service and court-ordered alcohol and drug counseling, if she is convicted of boating under the influence as a first offense in Nevada, Driver said.
Brockovich was freed on $1,000 bail June 7 at the Clark County jail and drove home to Agoura Hills on June 11, said her publicist, David Kass. In a statement issued June 9, she apologized for her actions, but Brockovich stressed that she did not operate the boat in open waters — she 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,” Brockovich said. “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,” she added.
Brockovich heads a consulting firm and was featured in the 2011 documentary “Last Call at the Oasis,” about the planet’s dwindling and increasingly polluted water supply.