Sally Struthers, who played the bubbly blonde daughter of Archie Bunker (and adoring wife of Meathead) on the 1970s TV show All in the Family, was arrested in September on charges of drunk driving. The Emmy-winning actress, 65, was stopped at 12:30 a.m. in the town of Ogunquit, Maine, where she performs regularly with a local theater group, and was handcuffed and taken into custody. It is not known whether the actress provided a breath or blood sample (or even an autograph), but she was reportedly cooperative with the police throughout the incident. Struthers was held briefly and then released after posting $160 bail, which celeb-gossip site tmz.com — harkening back to the tear-jerking Christian Children’s Fund infomercials for which Struthers served as oft-parodied spokesperson — snarkily pointed out is just $1 a day for the past 160 days.
Struthers is due in court on December 14 to face charges of Operating Under the Influence (OUI), a charge she has denied. Aside from the fact that OUI in Ogunquit would make a great title for her next show, the OUI designation is itself somewhat interesting, as only Maine and Rhode Island use this variation on the more familiar DUI (Driving Under the Influence, used in 34 states and the District of Columbia) or DWI (Driving While Intoxicated, used in 10 states). And in case you are curious, Ohio alone uses OVI (Operating a Vehicle while Impaired), while Wisconsin, Indiana, and Iowa use Operating While Intoxicated, or OWI. So, who needs Sleepless in Seattle when you can have OVI in Ohio and OWI in Iowa?
Here in Utah, the violation is known as DUI, and frankly, Ms. Struthers should be thankful her mishap did not occur here. In Maine the minimum penalties for a first-time offense include a $500 fine and 90 days license suspension, with no jail time unless there are aggravating factors and classes only required at the discretion of the judge; in Utah, the minimums are a $1,295 fine, 120 days license suspension, 48 hours of jail time or community service, and mandatory classes.