March 26, 2008 / 8:07 PM / 10 years ago

Bon Jovi guitarist arrested for drunken driving

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Richie Sambora, lead guitarist for the rock band Bon Jovi, was arrested in Southern California on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, police said on Wednesday.

Sambora, who was taken into custody shortly before 11 p.m. on Tuesday night in the seaside community of Laguna Beach, could also face child endangerment charges because there were two minors in his black Hummer at the time, police said.

“He was stopped for lane-straddling and weaving in lanes,” Laguna Beach police spokesman Sgt. Jason Kravetz said. “The officer who contacted him smelled alcohol, got him out of the vehicle and performed a field sobriety test.”

Kravetz said the 49-year-old rocker, a longtime resident of Laguna Beach, failed the field sobriety test and was administered a blood test when he was booked at the police station.

Richie Sambora is shown in this Laguna Beach Police's Department booking photo released March 26, 2008. The Bon Jovi lead guitarist has been arrested for investigation of driving under the influence of alcohol. REUTERS/Laguna Beach Police Department/Handout

Sambora, who was “very cooperative” with officers, was released on his own recognizance at about 4 a.m. on Wednesday and ordered to appear in court on May 7, Kravetz said.

Police declined to identify the three female passengers in Sambora’s car, but the guitarist has a 10-year-old daughter with actress Heather Locklear.

The guitarist twice spent time in rehab during 2007.

“At this point we’re waiting for the blood test results,” Kravetz said. “There is a possibility we will seek additional charges if, after speaking with the District Attorney’s office, we feel the children were endangered.”

Bon Jovi, formed in New Jersey during the 1980s, became one of the decade’s iconic bands with top-selling albums including “Slippery When Wet” and “New Jersey.”

The band, which is fronted by singer Jon Bon Jovi, is best known for such classic rock hits as “Livin’ on a Prayer,” “You Give Love a Bad Name” and “I’ll Be There for You.”

Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Mary Milliken and Cynthia Osterman

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