Beverly Hills, 90210 alum Jason Priestley was sentenced to five days in a Los Angeles jail Tuesday (that's 90026), after pleading no contest to misdemeanor drunken-driving charges stemming from a December car crash.
Priestley copped the plea to avoid felony charges for the accident, which saw the 30-year-old plow his 1999 silver Porsche into trash cans, a power pole and a parked car in the Hollywood Hills December 3. His passenger, Chad Cook, 27, suffered a broken arm in the crash.
Priestley initially said he had swerved to avoid a deer.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael E. Pastor sentenced the erstwhile Brandon Walsh to five days at Gateway Correctional Institute and three years' summary probation, suspended his driver's license for a year (he has to hand it over by April 12) and ordered him to enter a three-month drug- or alcohol-treatment program. In exchange, prosecutors dismissed a second felony DUI charge.
"We felt this was an equitable disposition of this matter," says Los Angeles District Attorney spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons.
Priestley's publicist, Betsy Boudreau, says Priestley is "out of the country and has no comment." He's currently starring in London's West End production of Side Man, which began in February and should continue through June. Boudreau says it's likely the actor will try to finish up his stage run before returning to the country to enroll in the rehab program and serve time.
Tuesday's court hearing was originally planned to set a court date, but Gibbons says Priestley pleaded no contest instead. Despite the deer story, police filed felony charges after a blood-alcohol test showed him topping California's legal limit of 0.08 percent. Priestley's lawyer, Peter Knecht, says the actor was logged at 0.12 percent.
Knecht says Jason's injured friend Cook asked the court not to prosecute him. He adds that the no-contest plea does not mean Priestley changed his story, and the lawyer believes the district attorney's office was fair.
"He just didn't want to parade himself in front of the camera every time he went to court," he says. "I think we got a pretty good deal. He's not a Hollywood bad boy, and he's got no prior record."