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    Paris Hilton charged in Los Angeles with driving under the influence

    Singer/actress/handbag designer/heiress Paris Hilton can now add another title to her resume: Defendant.

    Hilton was charged Tuesday with driving under the influence and scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 28 in Superior Court on charges of driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent, said Nick Velasquez, a spokesman for city prosecutors.

    Hilton is not required to appear at the arraignment, Velasquez said.

    The 25-year-old socialite was arrested Sept. 7 after being stopped in her Mercedes-Benz SLR. Police said her blood-alcohol level was 0.08 percent, the minimum to warrant an arrest.

    “The charges are consistent with California law and the circumstances of this case,” Velasquez said.

    A telephone message seeking comment from Hilton’s spokesman, Elliot Mintz, was not immediately returned. Mintz had said previously it was her only DUI arrest.

    Paparazzi swarmed the Hollywood police station after Hilton’s arrest. Hours later, Hilton told KIIS-FM’s morning radio host Ryan Seacrest that she was on an early morning hamburger run when she was stopped.

    The heiress to the Hilton hotel fortune denied driving recklessly but conceded “maybe I was speeding a little bit.”

    Hilton, who once told the Los Angeles Times that the taste of booze “grosses me out,” claimed she had a single margarita at a charity event before her arrest.

    A national research study says a 137-pound woman would need to consume three alcoholic drinks in one hour on an empty stomach to reach a .08 percent blood-alcohol level. The fashionably slender Hilton likely weighs much less than 137 pounds.

    If convicted, Hilton could be sentenced to six months in jail and fined $1,000. The minimum penalty for a first-time offender is a fine, probation and alcohol-rehabilitation program.

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