Richie Sambora — lead guitarist for New Jersey rockers Bon Jovi — was arrested in Laguna Beach, California, on Tuesday night on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, according to Laguna Beach Police Sergeant Jason Kravetz.
Sambora, whose problem with alcohol forced him to enter a 30-day rehabilitation facility in Los Angeles last spring, was collared just before 11 p.m. Tuesday while driving in his black Hummer. Police stopped the SUV for weaving across the center traffic line. Kravetz said that there were three females — including two minors — in the vehicle with him at the time of the arrest.
Police ordered Sambora to perform both verbal and manual field sobriety tests on the scene. He failed them and was later given a blood test, the results of which are still pending. According to police, Sambora willfully submitted to the tests.
According to Kravetz, Sambora could face an additional charge of endangering the welfare of a child, but the department’s investigation into the Tuesday incident remains ongoing. Police are awaiting Sambora’s blood-test results and, depending on what they indicate, will then consider the additional charge. Kravetz said that typically, such results take at least a week.
The guitarist, who recently split from actress Denise Richards, had ended his marriage to actress Heather Locklear last April — right on the heels of the death of his father, who’d succumbed to lung cancer. Sambora was transported to the Laguna Beach jail and was released about five hours later. He is scheduled to stand before a judge May 7 to answer to the misdemeanor charge.
Not long after he entered treatment last June (his second rehab stint in a year), Sambora appeared on the Today show to talk about his problems with alcohol. “I was just drinking too much and I needed to get my life together,” he said during the interview. “I’m still in therapy and stuff like that, but it’s good. I’m great. I feel fine.”
[This story was originally published at 3:19 pm E.T. on 3.26.2008]