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Lindsay Lohan avoids jail as Beverly Hills judge rules actress should continue rehab

October 22, 2010 |  9:38 am

A Beverly Hills judge ruled Friday that actress Lindsay Lohan had again violated the terms of her probation in a drunk-driving case, but instead of sentencing her to jail, he allowed her to continue drug rehabilitation.

Lohan must return to the Betty Ford Center until Jan. 3. After that, she would be subject to random testing until her Feb. 25 court date.

Lohan2 "I'm serious about that [date]. You're staying there past the new year and there's a reason for that," said Judge Elden Fox. "I'm not going to be manipulated."

A tearful Lohan expressed thanks to the judge.

Deputy District Atty. Danette Meyers had asked for Lohan to serve 180 days in jail but Fox turned down her request for now. But, he said, if Lohan violated the terms of her probation, he would follow the recommendation of prosecutors.

Lohan has been undergoing rehab at the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage since being freed on bail Sept. 24. Fox had ordered Lohan held without bail for nearly a month because of a second violation, but that ruling was overturned.

Lohan's attorney, Shawn Chapman Holley, successfully argued the actress was entitled under state law to post bail on a probation violation for misdemeanor drunk driving.

The time at Betty Ford appeared to make an impression on Fox, who praised her efforts and noted that jail could impede her progress. But he said the law was clear that Lohan had to return to jail as a result of the second probation violation.

The judge could have sentenced Lohan to 30 days in jail for each probation violation. But her actual time behind bars would be significantly less. Sheriff's officials said the typical nonviolent female offender would serve only 20% of her jail sentence before being released.

In July, Judge Marsha N. Revel sentenced Lohan to 90 days in jail for failing to attend alcohol education classes. She ended up serving 13 days of that sentence and also had a rehabilitation stint at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

-- Victoria Kim at the Beverly Hills Courthouse and Andrew Blankstein in Los Angeles

Photo: Lindsay Lohan arrives for a probation violation hearing at the Beverly Hills Courthouse. Above right, Lohan looks at a court official after arriving at the courthouse. Credit: (top) Chris Pizzello / Associated Press; (right) POOL photo