Oldest son of actor Ryan O'Neal charged with DUI in head-on cras - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Oldest son of actor Ryan O'Neal charged with DUI in head-on crash that injured other driver

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Actor Ryan O'Neal's oldest son, who was allegedly on drugs when his car veered into oncoming traffic on San Pasqual Valley Road and collided head-on with a van, pleaded not guilty Thursday to DUI causing injury and other charges.

Griffin O'Neal, 46, was on probation for a 2007 DUI conviction when the accident occurred Aug. 2 about 1 p.m., authorities said. He was arrested Wednesday.

Judge David Szumowski reduced the defendant's bail from $200,000 to $35,000.

In addition to DUI, O'Neal is charged with being a felon in possession of a gun, possession of rock cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia. He faces 11 years and six months in prison if convicted.

Deputy District Attorney Vanessa DuVall said Griffin was charged after toxicology tests showed he had amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana and Xanax in his system at the time of the crash.

A loaded firearm, a shotgun and ammunition for both were found in O'Neal's car, the prosecutor said.

Both O'Neal and the other driver were taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries from the crash, DuVall said.

Defense attorney Heather Boxeth told the judge that O'Neal -- who has a wife and 4-year-old son and lives in North County -- was trying to come to the aid of his 26-year-old half-brother when he got behind the wheel the day of the accident. She did not elaborate.

Redmond O'Neal, the only child of the late actress Farrah Fawcett, was arrested in Santa Monica the same day after police found heroin in his car during a traffic stop. He has a lengthy history of drug problems.

Griffin O'Neal appeared in several films, including "Escape Artist," "April Fool's Day" and "Assault of the Killer Bimbos."

He received an 18-day jail sentence in 1987 for failing to perform community service after he was convicted of reckless boating in an accident that killed the son of director Francis Ford Coppola.

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