The rapper-actress was busted in the wee hours Wednesday on suspicion of drunken driving, said a spokesperson for the California Highway Patrol.
Latifah was pulled over by police at 3:15 a.m. after she was spotted making an unsafe lane change on Los Angeles’ Hollywood Freeway in her 2002 Cadillac Escalade SUV.
The CHP says the 32-year-old hip-hopster cooperated with police. She handed over a valid New Jersey driver’s license (she hails from East Orange) issued in her real name, Dana Owens, and took a field sobriety test, which she failed.
She was taken to the LAPD (news – web sites)’s 77th Street Division for booking on the DUI charge and was later released on $2,500 bail. She’s due in court for a hearing December 12.
This isn’t the first time Latifah’s been in trouble with the law.
In 1996, she was arrested twice, once for getting into a fight with a photographer and then for possession of pot and a loaded weapon.
Aside from those few transgressions, Latifah (whose name means “delicate” or “sensitive” in Arabic) has been one of the more influential and positive performers on the rap scene over the last decade.
She established herself as one of the first major female rappers with her pioneering 1989 debut, All Hail the Queen. Her 1993 release, Black Reign, was dedicated to her brother Lance’s memory (he was killed in a motorcycle accident a year earlier), and it went on to become her biggest album, earning her a Grammy for Best Rap Solo performance for the hit single “U.N.I.T.Y.” Her most recent album was 1998’s Order in the Court.
She has also appeared in several films, including Jungle Fever, Juice, House Party 2, Set It Off, The Bone Collector and Hoodlum and had a role on the former Fox sitcom Living Single.
Most recently, she appeared in last month’s Brown Sugar and, aside from that upcoming court date, will next be seen as Mama Morton in Miramax’s Oscar-buzzing Chicago, set to hit theaters on Christmas Day.
She’s also voicing the Dove in the dubbed version of Roberto Benigni’s live-action version of Pinocchio, also opening on December 25.