July 7, 2012

‘Scarface’ Actor Who Played Tony Montana’s Henchman Arrested for DUI

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By guest-writer

Angel Salazar, the actor who played Tony Montana’s cocaine-fetching friend Chi Chi in the iconic gangster film, “Scarface,” was reportedly arrested for a DUI last week in Brooklyn, according to a report from TMZ.com.

A police report indicates that Salazar was seen swerving through traffic in his 1999 Volvo just after midnight last Thursday night. When police pulled him over, they discovered that he appeared to be intoxicated and smelled strongly of alcohol.

After he was taken to the police station, Salazar took a took a breathalyzer test and his blood alcohol level registered as a .121, which is significantly higher than the legal limit of .08.

After blowing a .121, Salazar was immediately arrested and was booked in a New York jail on three separate counts of driving under the influence.

There is a bit of irony to Salazar’s arrest, as the character he is most famous for spent most of the “Scarface” film eluding police by performing a series of increasingly illegal (and dangerous) errands.

Of course, in the film, his character meets an untimely end at the hands of a drug rival, so the ending to his real-life brush with the law will be much more pleasant, although it could still lead to a heavy fine, jail time, or a suspended license.

Interestingly, in an interview with TMZ, Salazar admitted to drinking on the night he was arrested, but he claims that he believed he was sober enough to drive.

And, in his interview, Salazar does nothing to dispel the myth (or reality?) that police and other members of the criminal justice system are just as susceptible to the cult of celebrity as the rest of us.

According to Salazar, he believed he might be able to get off with a simple warning after one of the responding officers recognized him from “Scarface” and pulled up the actor’s picture on his cell phone.

The officer’s alleged interest in the celebrity, however, did not get Salazar off the hook, as the actor is currently out on bail and still awaiting his court date for his three DUI charges.

So, if nothing else, this incident could help assuage the concerns of a public that is wary of celebrities receiving preferential treatment from police officers and judges alike.

After all, if one of Tony Montana’s most lethal lieutenants cannot avoid the long arm of the law, then other celebrities will likely also receive fair treatment under DUI laws, as long as the responding officers are as impervious to celebrity as these noble officials.

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The acronyms DUI, DWI, OMVI and OVI all refer to the same thing: operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The most commonly used terms are DUI, an acronym for Driving Under the Influence, and DWI, an acronym for Driving While Impaired.
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