Photo courtesy Redondo Beach PD
Photo courtesy Redondo Beach PD

Former President Bill Clinton’s half-brother, Roger, pleaded not guilty Thursday to two counts of misdemeanor DUI stemming from his June arrest in Redondo Beach.

As has been the case in a previous hearing, Defense attorney Walter F. Wiggins Jr. appeared in court on behalf of the 60-year-old Clinton. A defendant’s court presence is not required in a misdemeanor case.

Superior Court Judge George F. Bird Jr. today set Nov. 7 for a pretrial hearing in Torrance. He previously ordered Clinton to enroll in an alcohol education program, and Wiggins said his client had attended one or two sessions.

Clinton was charged in July with one misdemeanor count each of driving under the influence of alcohol and driving with a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher, along with an allegation that he refused or failed to submit to a chemical test.

Citing police, the Daily Breeze reported in July that a preliminary alcohol screening of Roger Clinton’s breath at the scene revealed readings of 0.230 percent and 0.237 percent — almost three times the legal limit. Redondo Beach City Prosecutor Melanie Chavira told the newspaper that he subsequently refused to submit to another breath test or blood test after his arrest.

Roger Clinton was released on a $15,000 bond at 9:30 a.m. June 6, according to jail records.

If convicted of the charges, he could face up to six months in custody and up to a $1,000 fine, along with a mandatory 48-hour minimum jail sentence involving an allegation that he refused to submit to a chemical test, according to Chavira.

Roger Clinton pleaded guilty in August 2001 to a misdemeanor count of reckless driving after Hermosa Beach city prosecutors agreed to drop two DUI charges and one count of disturbing the peace against him. He was sentenced then to two years probation, ordered not to drive with any alcohol or drugs in his system and to pay about $1,350 in fines and costs.

—City News Service

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