The spouse of America’s top lawmaker won’t face incarceration after pleading guilty to drunk driving
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-California) husband has dodged further jail time after pleading guilty to drunk driving in an incident that left two cars totaled and the other driver injured.
Paul Pelosi was ordered on Tuesday in affluent Napa, California, to serve five days in jail and three years of probation. However, Pelosi served two days in jail at the time of his arrest, in May, and was given “conduct credit” for two more days. Napa County Superior Court Judge Joseph Solga allowed the defendant to do eight hours of community service rather than serve his remaining jail time.
The sentence stems from an incident on the night of May 28, when Pelosi reportedly drove his 2021 Porsche Carrera into the path of a 2014 Jeep sport-utility vehicle. When confronted by police, the 82-year-old handed over his driver’s license and an 11-99 Foundation card. The foundation is a charity that supports California Highway Patrol officers and provides scholarships for their children.
Pelosi had “red, watery” eyes, was “unsteady on his feet,” and “his speech was slurred,” according to officers on the scene. His breath “reeked” with alcohol, and he failed a sobriety test hours later. Pelosi could have faced felony charges if the other driver had suffered more serious injuries, such as broken bones. He was instead given the minimum jail sentence of five days for the misdemeanor charge of drunk driving causing injury.
Pelosi initially pleaded innocent to the charge earlier this month, a few days after his wife’s controversial visit to Taiwan, which prompted China to cut off military and climate relations with the US. The House speaker, who is the third-ranking person in the US government, declined to comment on her husband’s arrest. Paul Pelosi was reportedly driving from the home of a Democratic Party donor to his and his wife’s weekend house in Napa Valley at the time of the crash.
Pelosi has a troubled driving record, including a 1957 crash when he was 16 that left his older brother dead. He and his wife and children also were involved in an incident in the late 1970s in which their car was flipped onto its side. Nancy Pelosi’s office declined to tell the New York Times who was driving at the time.
Paul Pelosi, whose net worth is estimated by Forbes at $130 million, has seen his fortune grow substantially on investment gains since his wife entered Congress in 1987. He and his wife faced criticism last month, when it was revealed that he stood to gain from an investment in chipmaker Nvidia when Congress passed legislation that would provide $52 billion in subsidies to chipmakers. He sold his $4.1 million Nvidia stake at a loss of $341,000, before the bill passed, to avoid “misinformation” about the couple’s investments, according to a spokesman for Nancy Pelosi.