Lakers owner gets probation, fine after guilty plea

VISTA, Calif. -- Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss pleaded
guilty Tuesday to misdemeanor drunken driving.

Buss was sentenced to five years' probation and fined $1,900. He
was not required to appear in court.

He also admitted he drove with a blood-alcohol level of .13
percent, above the state limit of .08 percent.

Buss owns a home in northern San Diego County and was arrested
in nearby Carlsbad in May after being stopped for driving his gold
Mercedes-Benz on the wrong side of the road.

Buss was under the influence of alcohol or an unspecified drug
but refused to take a chemical test, according to a criminal
complaint filed by the district attorney's office. He was arrested
after failing a field sobriety test.

Prosecutor William Wood said Tuesday there was no evidence that
Buss had used any drugs.

The 74-year-old Lakers owner entered his plea in state court
through defense attorney David Manning Chodos.

Chodos declined to comment after the hearing.

Buss released a statement through the team after his arrest
saying he drove only a short distance but recognized it was a bad

"I was wrong to do it. It was a mistake I will not make
again," he said in the statement.

Judge Martin Staven ordered Buss to take part in a
first-conviction program and attend a program administered by
Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

A telephone message left for a Lakers spokesman was not
immediately returned.