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DMX was arrested early this morning, apparently on suspicion of a DUI. But despite widespread media reports, that's not what DMX was actually charged with, his publicist claims.
The rapper was pulled over in South Carolina about 3 a.m. and taken into custody. He was released about an hour later. According to the DMX's publicist, however, there was no drunken driving charge.
"Allegations about DMX being arrested for drunk driving are false. ... X was given a Breathalyzer test and easily passed it," the publicist said in a statement, according to MTV News. But DMX was charged with something else that he's already familiar with: driving without a license.
Déjà Vu for DMX?
This isn't DMX's first run-in with the law for allegedly driving without a license. He was arrested and charged with the same thing in February, also in South Carolina.
Driving without a valid driver's license is generally a misdemeanor. As we all know, in order to drive a car, you are required to have a valid driver's license. But you're also supposed to carry proof of it on you while you are operating your registered motor vehicle.
Drivers, however, do make forgetful mistakes, and state traffic laws can recognize that by giving drivers a chance to prove they have a valid license.
For example, South Carolina's driving without a license law states that anyone who is pulled over without a valid license is guilty of a misdemeanor. But the state offers the option of getting your ticket dismissed if you can show the court proof of your valid license within a week of getting your ticket.
If a driver fails to do that, penalties can include fines of up to $100 and/or up to 30 days in jail for a first offense under South Carolina law. However, as this may be considered DMX's second offense, he could potentially be looking at a higher fine (for us non-rap star folk) of $500 and/or up to 45 days in jail.
Valid Traffic Stop?
As for DMX getting pulled over, news reports don't specify what raised a highway patrol officer's suspicions. Generally speaking, however, law enforcement agents need reasonable suspicion of a crime to pull someone over, and probable cause to make an arrest.
If it's eventually determined that there was no legitimate reason to pull over DMX in the first place -- especially if it's true that he wasn't legally drunk -- then he may be able to get his charge dismissed. In that case, DMX may then even have reason to sue over a wrongful arrest.