Stockard Channing gets probation on DUI charge

Actress Stockard Channing, who plays the first lady on the NBC political drama The West Wing, has pleaded no contest to driving under the influence of alcohol last year, the City Attorney's Office said Tuesday.

The no contest plea, equivalent to pleading guilty in California, was entered by Channing's lawyer Thursday, and the judge ordered her placed on probation for 36 months, City Attorney spokesman Frank Mateljan said.

Channing, 61, was also fined $390 as part of the standard penalty for a first DUI misdemeanor offense, Mateljan said.

The veteran actress, who won a Tony Award in 1985 for A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, is best known to TV audiences for her Emmy-winning role as the physician wife of the president on The West Wing.

She also costars as a medical doctor, opposite Henry Winkler, on the new CBS comedy Out of Practice.

Channing's court case stems from her arrest in December when she failed a field sobriety test after driving her Porsche through a police roadblock set up on a Los Angeles freeway at the scene of an accident.

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