DUI charges for Chris Klein, Nick Carter. The ''American Pie'' star could face up to a year in jail, while the Backstreet Boy phones in a not guilty plea

By Gary Susman
April 14, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT
Chris Klein: Armando Gallo/Retna

What do actor Chris Klein and Backstreet Boy Nick Carter have in common, besides fading teen-heartthrob status? Both are facing DUI charges that resulted in oddly photogenic mugshots being posted at The Smoking Gun. Klein faces misdemeanor charges from a February traffic stop in San Diego, an arrest no one noticed until TSG unearthed the criminal complaint against him on Wednesday. Carter, who was briefly jailed March 7 after police in Orange County, Calif., said he failed a sobriety test, entered a not guilty plea during his arraignment on Wednesday.

Carter, whose recently reunited Backstreet Boys are planning their first studio album release and major U.S. tour in five years this summer, was arrested and jailed for a few hours on March 5 after Huntington Beach police stopped him for allegedly driving erratically, then gave him a field sobriety test, which officers said he failed. The 25-year-old’s publicist released a statement attributing the incident to unnamed prescription drugs. ”Nick Carter deeply regrets the current situation. He is on doctor-prescribed medication and was unaware of its interaction possibilities,” the rep said.

On Wednesday, E! Online reports, Carter was arraigned on charges of driving under the influence and driving with a blood-alcohol level above .08 percent. Because the charges were misdemeanors, the singer was not required to appear in person, and his lawyer phoned in his not guilty pleas. His next hearing is May 2.

Klein, 26, was charged with the same two misdemeanors after San Diego police pulled him over and measured his blood-alcohol level at more than .20 percent, according to the criminal complaint. The American Pie star’s arrest, which took place Feb. 5 (about a month before he and girlfriend of five years Katie Holmes broke up) went unnoticed, maybe because he was detained under his full name, Frederick Christopher Klein. Due to be arraigned later this month, the actor faces up to six months in jail on each charge if convicted. Reached by People.com, Klein’s rep declined to comment on the charges.