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Van Sant pleads
not guilty to DUI

Van Sant pleads
not guilty to DUI

Gus Van Sant, out director of Good WillHunting, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of drunken driving and reckless driving. He was ordered to attend a February 9 alcohol diversion hearing.

Van Sant, 54, was arrested the night of December 21 near the Portland, Ore., city center. Police said he registered a blood-alcohol level of 0.19%, more than double Oregon's limit of 0.08%.

An officer saw that Van Sant's headlights weren't on, said Sgt. Brian Schmautz, Portland Police Bureau spokesman. Van Sant had bloodshot eyes and slurred speech, smelled of alcohol, and failed sobriety tests, Schmautz said.

Van Sant wasn't required to appear at the arraignment in Multnomah County court. He was represented by attorney Richard Oberdorfer.

The February hearing will help determine whether the filmmaker enters a diversion program, which could eventually remove the charge from his record.

Judge Leslie Roberts imposed the standard conditions that while the case is pending, Van Sant must avoid alcohol and not drive without a license or insurance.

Several of Van Sant's movies have been set in Oregon, including Elephant, about a high school shooting, which won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 2003. He has been shooting Paranoid Park in and around the city.

His films also include My Own PrivateIdaho,Drugstore Cowboy, and FindingForrester. (AP)

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