Nick Nolte is arrested on suspicion of DUI. Police say the actor's car was weaving, and that he appeared ''droopy-eyed'' and ''drooling''

By Gary Susman
Updated September 12, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT
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Nick Nolte: iPhoto.ca/ImageDirect

Nick Nolte, who plays a heroin-addicted robber in his upcoming movie, ”The Good Thief,” was arrested Wednesday for suspicion of driving under the influence when a California Highway Patrol officer spotted the actor swerving in his Mercedes on a highway near his Malibu home. He failed a field sobriety test and was taken into custody, then released around 8:30 p.m.

A CHP spokesman told Reuters that an officer spotted Nolte’s car making its tires squeal and weaving across the lanes into oncoming traffic. When pulled over, Nolte ”seemed completely out of it. He was drooling, [with] droopy eyes. He…looked very much like he was under the influence,” the spokesman said.

Another CHP officer told the Associated Press that ”it probably wasn’t alcohol” that impaired the two-time Oscar nominee. However, it will be several days before blood test results can determine what drugs may have been in the actor’s system, he said.

Nolte, 61, told CBS News in 2001 that he had been sober for four years, and that he’s under a stringent health regime, taking 60 vitamins and herbal supplements a day, eating organic raw vegetables grown in his own garden, and even examining his own blood under a microscope. He has been candid, however, about his past abuse of alcohol and cocaine. In 1999, recalling the shoot of his 1985 movie ”Grace Quigley” with Katharine Hepburn, he told Entertainment Weekly that Hepburn said to him, ”’You know, Nick, Spencer [Tracy] drank quite a lot. But he never drank when he was going to work. You’ve really got to get a handle on yourself. You’ve been drunk in every gutter in this town.’ I said, ‘Almost. I haven’t quite made ’em all.”’

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