Published June 09, 2013
| Associated Press
Environmental activist Erin Brockovich, portrayed by Julia Roberts in a 2000 movie about her fight over the pollution of a California town, has been arrested on suspicion of boating while intoxicated at Lake Mead near Las Vegas, authorities said Sunday.
Brockovich was arrested late Friday night after breath tests showed her blood-alcohol level was just over twice the legal limit of .08, said Edwin Lyngar, spokesman for the Nevada Department of Wildlife.
A game warden noticed she was struggling and needed assistance while trying to moor her motor boat at the Las Vegas Boat Harbor, he said. Brockovich had been out on the boat with a male companion but was alone when she tried to dock it.
"She was not sure how to maneuver the boat into the dock," Lyngar told The Associated Press. "It's a simple thing if you can think clearly. But if you add alcohol and unfamiliarity of the area, it can all cause serious problems."
Brockovich, 52, of Agoura Hills, Calif., was released from the Clark County Detention Center after posting $1,000 bail.
She didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday, and it was uncertain whether she has an attorney.
Under Nevada law, a first-time offense of boating while intoxicated is a misdemeanor that draws fines from $1,000 to $2,000 but no jail time. Authorities were unsure whether it was Brockovich's first arrest on the charge.
Lyngar said the case focuses attention on a major problem as up to half of all fatal boat accidents are alcohol-related.
"Too many people think drinking and boating go together," he said. "We don't have a problem if people drink. Just have a designated operator."
Brockovich's efforts to sue Pacific Gas & Electric for polluting the water supply of a small Southern California town were adapted into a big-screen story, "Erin Brockovich," starring Roberts in the Oscar-winning title-role.
Last year, Brockovich was back on the big screen in the documentary "Last Call at the Oasis," which explores challenges related to the planet's dwindling and increasingly polluted water supply.