Billionaire Alice Walton, who fought drunken driving charges with high-powered lawyers rather than accept the usual punishment, can choose between serving a day in jail or a day of community service, a judge says.
Municipal Judge Stanley Ludwig on Wednesday also ordered Walton to pay $925 in fines and costs following her conviction on driving-while-intoxicated and other charges. In addition, she must undergo counseling.Earlier, the state suspended Walton's driver's license for 180 days for refusing to take a blood-alcohol test requested by police.
Walton, 48, crashed her car near her home Jan. 27, hitting a gas meter and telephone box. She broke her nose in the accident.
In deciding to take her case to trial May 28, the daughter of the late Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart, rejected a conventional plea offer - pay $350 in fines, $300 in court costs and do two days of community service in exchange for avoiding jail and dropping a 180-day suspension of her driver's license.
The 15-hour trial, featuring almost two dozen witnesses, didn't end until the early morning hours of May 29, when Ludwig announced his verdict.
She testified that she had had a few drinks earlier that night but wasn't drunk. She also said she didn't recall telling an officer, "Do you know who I am?"
Her attorneys - dubbed the Arkansas version of the "Dream Team" by one prosecutor - argued that the crash could have been caused by fatigue after a full day of business meetings.
According to Forbes magazine, Walton was worth $6.3 billion last year.