When word spread Monday that Motley Crue singer Vince Neil was arrested in Las Vegas on suspicion of drunk driving, older fans of the blonde frontman were taken back to 25 years ago, when a drunk Neil crashed his car and killed a fellow musician.
Neil has insisted he changed over the last few years, but actions speak louder than words.
Back in 1984 a Finnish hard rock band called Hanoi Rocks was in Los Angeles for a show. The band partied with Neil at his house. When they ran out of booze, Neil and Hanoi Rocks drummer Nicholas "Razzle" Dingley decided to take a ride to a local liquor store to restock.
On the way there, Neil lost control of his sports car and smashed into an oncoming car. The two people in that car were seriously injured, but survived. Dingley was not so lucky -- he was killed.
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Neil's blood alcohol level was .17, almost twice the California legal limit of .10 (the Calif. BAC limit was lowered to .08 in 1990). He was charged with vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of alcohol.
Neil pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to just 30 days in jail, five years probation, $2.6 million in restitution to the victims of the crash and 200 hours of community service. Neil served only 20 days, getting out early for good behavior.
Looking back on the tragedy, Neil admits he should have been punished much more harshly.
He told Blender magazine in 2005, "I wrote a $2.5 million check for vehicular manslaughter when Razzle died. I should have gone to prison. I definitely deserved to go to prison. But I did 30 days in jail and got laid and drank beer, because that's the power of cash. That's f**ked up."
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Neil talked the good talk once again just last week in an interview with the Associated Press about a tell-all book due out in September. Neil claimed he hadn't used drugs in 20 years and had stopped abusing alcohol.
"There's just a point in your life where you kind of stop, that's what happened with me," Neil said. "There's other things in life than just drugs and alcohol."
As we said at the top, actions speak louder than words.
Here's a report from 2008 where Neil talks more about the crash: