Mindy McCready won't be staying the night in jail--and she's got some new song fodder to boot.
The oft-troubled country singer was found not guilty Wednesday of a DUI charge stemming from a May 2005 arrest, although a Nashville jury did convict her of driving with a suspended license.
McCready, 30, was pulled over last spring for speeding and refused to take a breath test after police smelled alcohol. Kenneth Dixon, the arresting officer, testified Monday that the "If I Don't Stay the Night" artist had been wobbly on her feet and that her eyes were watery and bloodshot that night.
Attorney Lee Dryer had argued that his client, who was driving a friend's car when she was arrested, had actually been performing a good deed, giving a friend who was too drunk to drive a ride home from the nightclub the two had been at. Dryer also said that the sobriety test McCready was forced to take wasn't given properly and that the songstress had removed her shoes and found it hard to walk steadily in her supposedly too-long pants.
Jurors were apparently swayed by police video of the arrest, which was screened during the three-day trial.
In addition to avoiding the most serious charge against her, McCready escaped a contempt charge she was threatened with after arriving in court 10 minutes late Monday for the start of the trial.
Outside court McCready told reporters that she might use her personal troubles as the basis for new music in an attempt to jumpstart her stalled career. "This is one step in getting past a lot things," she added.
Those "things" include two suicide attempts in 2005--with one occurring while she was pregnant with her ex-boyfriend's child--and a pending $3 million lawsuit against said ex, aspiring country singer Billy McKnight, who beat her up two days after her arrest on suspicion of drunk driving. He has since pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and was sentenced to 30 days in jail.
On a happier note, McCready gave birth to their son, Zander Ryan McCready, on Mar. 25.
McCready is also supposed to attend a hearing later this year to determine whether she violated her probation by leaving Tennessee without permission. She was on probation in the first place after pleading guilty in August 2004 to using a fake prescription to buy OxyContin.