Friday, September 13, 2002
Los Angeles A drooling and disheveled Nick Nolte was swerving into oncoming lanes in his black Mercedes-Benz before his arrest for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, police said Thursday.
The 61-year-old actor was pulled over Wednesday afternoon by an officer who said his car had been traveling erratically on the Pacific Coast Highway in west Malibu, according to Capt. Dan Bower of the California Highway Patrol.
Nolte lives nearby.
His publicist, Arnold Robinson, had no comment.
The arresting officer didn't initially recognize Nolte, who was drooling and disheveled, the captain said.
Nolte was arrested about midway through a roadside sobriety test because it was clear that he was under the influence of drugs, Bower said. Several passers-by stopped to take photographs.
Nolte was later released on $2,500 bail. Results of a blood test won't be available for several days, Bower said.
A highway patrol source said on condition of anonymity that a breath test didn't indicate any alcohol use.
The actor's car was impounded; a search didn't turn up any drugs.
Nolte had a reputation for years as a heavy drinker, once describing himself as a "functioning drunk." But in the mid-1990s, he reportedly quit alcohol and became a fitness buff.
He was nominated for best-actor Oscars for 1991's "The Prince of Tides" and 1997's "Affliction."