RJ's DUI: A Misdemeanor, a Violation, and a Cute Little Ford Escape

The ever-irrepressible scamps at TMZ.com finally put their irrepressibility to good use and got their hands on the criminal complaint filed against Page Six editor Richard Johnson. At 12:01 a.m. this morning, in front of 425 West 14th Street, according to the complaint, Johnson was at the wheel of his Ford Escape with his keys in the ignition and engine running when NYPD Officer Robert Gluck says he was "intoxicated in that the defendant had watery and bloodshot eyes, had slightly slurred speech and had the odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath." Why this resort of an anecdotal description of his drunkenness? Because RJ, the report says, refused to take a Breathalyzer.

Johnson was charged with a misdemeanor — operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated — and a violation — operating a vehicle while impaired. He'll be in court to enter a plea on July 31, according to TMZ, but he does not face, as the gossip site reports, up to seven years in prison. (He was not charged with a felony, as TMZ says he was.

The 425 West 14th address puts RJ at 14th and Ninth, which makes a lot of sense given that we happened to see him — with his lovely new wife, Sessa — at the Soho House bar at about 11ish last night; he was still there when we left. But we're curious, then, about the defense Johnson's attorney, Ed Hayes, gave to TMZ. " Richard went out for a couple of beers after playing basketball, nobody got hurt, there was no accident," he told TMZ. "I don't think he was drunk, he might have had one beer too many." Post-bball beers at Soho House with your wife and a small party? If you say so, Ed...

UPDATE: An early version of this post repeated TMZ's statements that Johnson was charged with a felony and faced up to seven years in prison. A Smoking Gunner — the experts on these matters — emailed to clarify the legal realities: "TMZ is wrong ... here is NO felony charge here ... it is a misdemeanor and a violation. no felony charges at all".

Page Six Editor Arrested [TMZ.com]
The People of the State of New York against Richard Johnson [PDF]
Earlier: Unsubstantiated Rumor-Mongering: Richard Johnson Arrested for Drunk Driving?