<
>

Unser Jr. enters not guilty plea on DUI charge

4/25/2007

HENDERSON, Nev. -- A lawyer for Indianapolis 500 winner Al
Unser Jr. entered a not guilty plea on Unser's behalf Wednesday to
charges including driving under the influence in a January crash on
a southern Nevada freeway.

Unser, 45, of Henderson, did not appear in person before Justice
of the Peace Stephen George, who set trial for July 11.

"There's a chance it might get resolved before that date,"
Unser's lawyer, Andrew Leavitt, said following the brief court
hearing. Leavitt declined to address circumstances surrounding
Unser's Jan. 25 arrest.

The Nevada Highway Patrol said Unser failed field sobriety tests
before he was charged with driving under the influence, misdemeanor
hit and run, failure to render aid in an accident and failure to
report an accident.

The patrol said Unser was driving a black Ford Excursion when it
sideswiped a Mazda sedan that crashed into a cement median on the
Las Vegas Beltway.

The driver of the Mazda reported no injuries at the scene, the
NHP said. A witness followed Unser's vehicle before Henderson
police stopped it a short time later near the Black Mountain
Country Club, about 12 miles southeast of the Las Vegas Strip.

Unser is the son of Indianapolis 500 racing legend Al Unser and
nephew of three-time Indy winner Bobby Unser. He won the Indy 500
in 1992 and 1994, and won two CART points titles and two IROC
championships.

Unser also has had bouts with alcohol abuse and depression, and
underwent treatment for alcohol abuse in 2002 after his girlfriend
said he hit her in the face while drunk in Indianapolis.
Prosecutors did not file charges against him in that case.