Michelle Rodriguez Agrees to Jail Time

Published: Apr. 25, 2006 at 9:34 PM HST|Updated: Apr. 27, 2006 at 12:12 AM HST
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Michelle Rodriguez listens to the judge in court on Tuesday.
Michelle Rodriguez listens to the judge in court on Tuesday.

KANEOHE (KHNL) - Michelle Rodriguez, one of the stars of the hit television drama "Lost," is in jail. She pleaded guilty to a drunken driving charge in court Tuesday morning, and started serving her sentence in the afternoon.

Judge James Dannenberg gave her the minimum for the second offense -- five days in jail, and a $500 fine. Rodriguez has a DUI conviction in California.

"I'm really glad that the judge wasn't blinded by you know, the kinda illusion of the actress," said Rodriguez. "I'm kinda glad you know, cause I'm human."

The judge gave Rodriguez the option of five days in jail or 240 hours of community service. Rodriguez says she chose jail time because it was shorter, and she could get back to her life quicker.

Because of her traffic history, prosecutors wanted the maximum penalty -- 14 days in jail and a $1,500 fine. Prosecutors mentioned Rodriguez's two traffic cases in California, and the three speeding tickets she received here in Hawaii.

"I would have hoped Judge Dannenberg understood what the state's argument was, that he would've imposed the maximum sentence," said deputy prosecutor Sean Sanada. "We felt that was the sentence that should've been warranted."

Tuesday was supposed to be the start of Rodriguez's trial. She changed her plea on the drunk driving charge, and prosecutors agreed to drop two lesser traffic offenses.

Rodriguez was arrested December 1st on Kalanianaole Highway. Her blood alcohol level at the time was 0.14. The legal limit in Hawaii is .08.

"I wasn't right in my head," said Rodriguez. "I don't think it was just the alcohol."

Rodriguez said since coming to the islands, she'd been taking steroids to treat allergies. She said she's allergic to dust and cockroach feces.

"Prednisone and cortisone steroid -- that was hardcore," she said. "I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy."

"I'd stay up late at night. I'd get my period 3 times a month, I was manic. What I mean by that was a little bit paranoid, nervous energy, just shaky a lot of the time."

"I started to look at myself and say wait a minute -- I know this isn't me, what's going on. So i started looking up the side effects to stuff and i was like oh, okay.

Rodriguez says the steroid treatments are done, and she's glad this episode of her life is too.

"I'm shedding my skin," she said.

Rodriguez will spend four days at the Oahu Community Correctional Center. The judge took a day off her sentence for the day she was arrested.

Stephen Florino