Journalist Bill Moyers pleads guilty to negligent driving, fined $750

(08-12) 15:44 PDT BENNINGTON, Vt. (AP) --

Public television journalist Bill Moyers pleaded guilty Monday to a charge of negligent driving and was fined $750.

He originally was charged with drunken driving after being stopped last month in the southern Vermont town of Arlington. State Trooper Travis Kline had said the journalist swerved repeatedly across the center line of the road and had trouble negotiating a curve.

Moyers had disputed the officer's account, and said he had been "in full control" of his faculties.

In a letter to the Bennington Banner, Moyers said he had just left a friend's birthday party when he was stopped, and that he had had a glass of champagne and a small amount of wine.

A roadside breath test, which is not admissible in court, showed Moyers' blood-alcohol content to be 0.10 percent, above the legal limit of 0.08, according to authorities. An admissible test about 90 minutes later showed Moyers' blood-alcohol content had dropped to 0.079, within the legal limit.

Moyers, 68 also was ordered Monday to take a drunken driving course, and given a choice of paying $1,000 to an anti-drunk-driving group, or doing 200 hours of community service, court staff said.

Moyers served as special assistant to President Johnson and was publisher of the Long Island newspaper Newsday before turning to public television in the 1970s. He also has worked for CBS News.

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