Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol and was sentenced to five days in jail and three years of probation for a crash in California’s wine country that injured another driver.
Pelosi, 82, has already served two days in jail after the May 28 arrest and received good conduct credit for two other days, Napa County Superior Court Judge Joseph Solga said, according to an AP report. Pelosi will work eight hours in the court’s work program in lieu of the remaining day. He will also have to pay about $5,000 in victim restitution for medical bills and lost wages and about $2,000 in fines, the judge said.
Pelosi will also endure an ignition interlock device, which requires a breathalyzer test before he can operate his vehicle, according to KGO.
Pelosi was driving back to the family’s California vacation home from a party when he crashed into another driver. Officers responding to the crash found him in a 2021 Porsche Carrera and the other driver standing outside a Jeep. Both vehicles had “major collision damage,” according to the complaint. A DUI test showed Pelosi had a blood alcohol content of .082 percent, just over the legal limit.
Police officers said Pelosi was unsteady on his feet, his speech slurred, and he smelled of alcohol.
Paul Pelosi has a net worth of $120 million and made a fortune owning and operating San Francisco-based real estate and venture capital investment and consulting firm Financial Leasing Services. He’s on many corporate and philanthropic boards and owns large stakes in Facebook, Apple, Comcast and Disney.
DUIs are to blame for close to 30 percent of motor vehicle fatalities in the U.S.
Not all states are equal when it comes to prosecuting DUIs. Wallethub ranked drunk driving penalties in all 50 states and D.C. Arizona, Georgia and Alaska were the top three for strictest penalties. California ranked No. 21 on the same list.
Reactions on social media to Paul Pelosi’s DUI sentence varied according to the users’ politics, The List reported. Brigitte Gabriel of ACT for America thought the sentence was too lenient: “Paul Pelosi could have killed someone. Anyone else would be facing the possibility of jail time.” Another agreed, “Yep. Hard time. Just a slap on the wrist and it all goes away. Wish everyone had it so easy.”
Others on Twitter commended Paul Pelosi for owning up to the DUI. “If Paul Pelosi can be held accountable for his actions, why can’t Trump and company?” tweeted Black Pearl.
Some said Pelosi got special treatment.
Despite these criticisms, Paul Pelosi’s sentence appeared to be fairly standard for a first-time DUI offender in California, NewsWeek reported. First-time offenders typically get probation rather than a jail sentence, according to DrivingLaws.org.
“It’s possible for a first offender to receive 48 hours to six months in jail. But if the judge orders probation—which occurs in most cases—there’s no mandatory jail time. Oftentimes, judges are lenient on first offenders and don’t order time in jail as part of the sentence,” the website reads.