July 30th, 2007
04:35 PM ET
9 years ago

Al Gore's son pleads guilty to drug charges

Al Gore III, right, appears with his father, former Vice President Al Gore, and mother, Tipper, at the Oscars in February.

LOS ANGELES (CNN) – Al Gore III pleaded guilty Monday to felony and misdemeanor drug possession charges stemming from his arrest earlier in July when he was pulled over for allegedly driving more than 100 mph in a Toyota Prius.

An Orange County Sheriff's deputy reported that he could smell marijuana when he approached the car. After conducting a search, the deputy found a small amount of marijuana and prescription pills - including Adderall, Vicodin, Xanax and Valium - all without a prescription.

Gore, 24, was charged with two felony counts of possession of a controlled substance, two misdemeanor counts of possessing a controlled substance without a prescription, one misdemeanor count of possession of marijuana and a traffic infraction.

Farrah Emami of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said the son of former Vice President Al Gore agreed to enter a 90-day residential drug treatment program.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Jaime Coulter told the Associated Press that if Gore successfully completed the drug treatment program the sentencing could be continued for another year and that charges may be dropped in 2009.

"At that point, he will be able to withdraw his guilty plea as if he never entered it," Coulter told the AP.

Gore’s next court date is scheduled for February 7, 2008.

- CNN Assignment Editor Karan Olson

Filed under: Al Gore
soundoff (98 Responses)
  1. John S. Chicago, Illinois

    JESUS! YOU ALL NEED TO CALM DOWN AND MAYBE TAKE A xanax or something. Who gives a crap. If you just came to the realization that the rich do not live by the same laws as the rest of us, you need to try harder to keep your head outta the sand. IF you weren't all so self-involved you would have realized this trend taking place 15 years ago. Our leadership reflects the masses. Should it be any surprise that Gore will do anything to get his kid off? "oh not my special, he would never...." Constantly apologists. Well wake up, you arent doing your job as parents, cause um, maybe you work too much cause you are greedy and dont actually raise your kids yourself.


    July 30, 2007 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  2. daron, new haven, ct

    LEARN HOW TO READ, he wasn't DUI. He had drugs in the car. I would agree with you who say a harsher sentence is needed IF he was DUI. But there is a big difference between DUI and just possession in the car.

    July 30, 2007 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  3. Ray Wyatt

    The news is this... A PRIUS CAN GO 100??? WOW WOW WOWSIE WOW WOW! USA is on a downslide justicewise. So sad.

    July 30, 2007 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  4. ozzy from texas

    It's called the guys with the money and the guys without the money. Laws apply differently – did you forget the O.J.Simpson Case already?

    It is what it is – laws as each case apply differently. If you want to win at anything please have the money – it's that simple.

    July 30, 2007 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  5. Janel, Corona, CA

    What it all boils down to is that Al Gore III spent his formative years in the constant shadow of his celebrity/politician parents. Neither he nor his sisters were as high a priority as was their father's political ambitions. Had REAL parenting taken place during this very important period of time, perhaps Al the 3rd would not be so troubled.

    And nothing has changed. How sad.

    July 30, 2007 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  6. J. Sensing, Rockledge, FL

    I knew when I read the first paragraph of the article that I would be seeing the words "charges" and "dropped."

    I'm no longer surprised to read about the opportunities offered to relatives of the rich and famous, or to the rich and famous themselves, by the legal system of this country. I just assume that they'll get out of the charges, because 9 times out of 10 they do.

    July 30, 2007 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  7. caven, los angeles, ca

    for all those complaining about how this isnt fair, your right.

    the fact is though that it pays to be rich.

    July 30, 2007 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  8. Tim, St. Louis, MO

    Another "fun loving" celeb getting off easy in court...I sense a trend here.

    July 30, 2007 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  9. John, Michigan

    Maybe there are two faces of American but it might be those who avoid drugs and the fools who don't.
    I think the sentence is light because the kid wasn't 18. I think if the kid wasn't a VP's son no one would even know the story and few would care.
    A bigger question might be why does every few comments seem to bring one about a Prius going 100 mph. Don't people read what other's write?

    July 30, 2007 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  10. Jimb, Cola, SC

    I'd still be in jail if I got caught with that stuff.

    July 30, 2007 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  11. Jay Lomiko, Kaysville, UT.

    Why Is it that dumb Democrats can get away with Anything, but Joe Shmoe Little Guy gets the book? This looks like a slap on the wrist in a posh resort to sober up. I know peopole who get 10 to 15 years for possossesion and loss of drivers license privbilege for the rest of their life.
    Proof that it's who you know not WHAT you know.

    July 30, 2007 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  12. Randy, VA

    Nice deal. Why doesn't everybody get a deal like that?

    July 30, 2007 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    To the guy who wrote this I want proof.....
    If you don’t like his father, don’t attack the son instead.

    The difference in treatment of those arrested varies wildly from state to state. Ca arrests are far different form those in Ala, and if you don’t like how Ala treats suspects and 1st time offenders elect different people. The State of Ma’s police in general were far more capable and understanding of a mental ill person I know, and the state system in MA was able to get the boy treatment, instead of locking up like other states, and thus ending society problems with the young man.

    He was caught with a small amount of pot in a different state from his past convictions. Everyone I know gets a second chance, and third chance in those cases. In fact, I have seen multiple people caught with small amounts of pots, and have the police simply take the pot.

    In my experience offenses in other states don’t effect the punishment in other states, often the judge would never know about them for minor offensives. I know of lots of cases where people were able to wipe clean minor drug offensives, and none of the people were rich.

    Posted By Muddym MA : July 30, 2007 4:36 pm

    July 30, 2007 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  14. Randy, VA

    Unlike many of you that took great pleasure in hammering the Bush girls for having a few drinks with genius lines like “the apple don’t fall far from the tree” etc, etc, I will take the high road and hope his son get’s the help that he needs.

    Posted By Tom – Dedham, Mass : July 30, 2007 2:35 pm

    Tom, forget politics, the POINT is a rich kid is a mulipule felon and in 90 days will not have a mark on his record. This isn't his first felony arrest. I'm a working class joe that got a misdemeanor on the 4th of July for lighting a Roman Candle in my front yard. It is on my record for life. My first offense on any kind. Think about it it will come to you, maybe.

    July 30, 2007 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  15. Ed, Los Angeles, CA

    Wonder what the parents have to say....or, it is a wise political and/or environmental move to stay out of it?

    A Prius at 100 mph......wonder what the gas mileage was?

    July 30, 2007 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  16. Stephen, Laguna Niguel, CA

    I sure hope that Anderson Cooper will do a story on this unbelievable event. Let's do a story on "Keeping them Honest" by explaining why everyone else does the time, gets a record, and the VP's kid walks free with no charges. This is a disgrace, and I agree with all of you who have written how unfair the treatment of your loved ones was compared to Mr. Gore. Come on CNN – Anderson HAS to do a story and explain this one.

    July 30, 2007 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  17. Randy, VA

    if he was using and driving. If he was doing that, he should be punished more harshly.

    Posted By daron, new haven, ct : July 30, 2007 5:34 pm

    I can't believe you wingwangs from the wacky north east. Can't you read. "When the cop pulled him over he smell MJ". Do you think a joint was just burning in his ashtray as he was driving? Hello!!!!!

    July 30, 2007 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  18. Randy, VA

    In my experience offenses in other states don’t effect the punishment in other states, often the judge would never know about them for minor offensives. I know of lots of cases where people were able to wipe clean minor drug offensives, and none of the people were rich.

    Posted By Muddym MA : July 30, 2007 4:36 pm

    Where do these Bodines come from. A felony is a felony no matter which state it occured in. Do you think is a person committed 30 felonies in a state and he/she moved to another state then their record id clean. And the moon is made of cheese.

    July 30, 2007 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  19. Maria Woodbridge,VA

    I am glad he pled guilty.... At least he didn't try to deny his wrong doing like others we know!!! He has a problem, like many, many Americans... I hope he will be able to overcome it.

    July 30, 2007 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  20. Patrice, Biloxi, Ms

    This is one of the very reason why there's so many anti-govt groups and hard working citizens who dont believe in this government. The laws of justice clearly written but not clearly practiced. Just imagine if a common citizen would have gotten stopped....Rehab is mandatory outside of the fines and jail time...WHAT IS CHANGE YOUR PLEA??? No wonder terrorist are fustrated!!!

    July 30, 2007 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  21. JSun west Hills, CA

    I never knew a Prius could get to speeds over 100mph! Cool!

    July 30, 2007 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  22. Perry, Dallas, Texas

    James D McCallister, Columbia, SC wrote:

    "Curious how young Gore, with all of his profligate substance-abusing, just happens to get pulled over mere days before his father’s worldwide global warming awareness event."

    Maybe he got pulled over for doing a "mere" 100 mph. Oh, I know...it was just another "vast right wing conspiracy". The Bush Admin. planted all those drugs in lil' Al's Prius.

    July 30, 2007 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  23. Trang, Fremont, CA

    It seems that many are upset because of the unfair treatment?

    Would you prefer to forgive this kid and have yours forgiven too?

    Or would you prefer to punish this kid because yours have been punished?

    I am on the side of forgiveness.

    July 30, 2007 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  24. david disbrow dublin ohio

    I think Kathy LeJeune, Lafayette, Louisiana.comments are dead on!! I to havea son with a similar story. The Drug issue and the healthcare issue need to be fixed. PleaseCNNhelp with this!!

    July 30, 2007 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  25. Diane

    Gore didn't receive special treatment. I'm a middle class American, and my son also received the same offer; he, too was a first time offender. It's just the nature of the judicial system. Some judges are harsher than others. It's sometimes the roll of the dice.

    July 30, 2007 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
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