Rima Fakih, the first Arab-American to be crowned Miss USA, pleaded no contest today in a drink driving case in her home state of Michigan.
The 26-year-old former beauty queen is expected to be spared from jail time after offering the plea to driving while visibly impaired, according to her attorney.
Seemingly relieved after her court appearance, Fakih, a former Miss Michigan who was crowned Miss USA in 2010, addressed reporters outside the court in Highland Park, an enclave of Detroit.
'You learn, you pay your price for making mistakes and you move on. I'm very happy I can put this behind me,' she said.
Sworn in: Former Miss USA Rima Fakih faced DUI charges in the 30th District court in Highland Park, Michigan on Wednesday
'I'm just going to move on and make sure I learn my lessons.'
A no contest plea isn't an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing, which will take place May 9. She faces a maximum penalty of 93 days in jail.
Her lawyer, W Otis Culpepper, predicted that Fakih would be sentenced to probation, which he said she could serve in California, where she is pursuing opportunities in the entertainment industry. Fakih will 'get back to California and get on with being a Hollywood kind of person,' Culpepper said.
Bargain: The 26-year-old, pictured with Highland Park City Attorney Todd Russell, left, and defense attorney W Otis Culpepper, right, took a plea deal
Serious: Fakih, standing before the court on Wednesday, offered the plea to driving while visibly impaired after she was arrested in December for drink driving
A trial had been planned before 30th District Court Judge Brigette Officer on the original charges of drunken driving, careless driving and having an open container of alcohol. The judge accepted the plea, telling Fakih: 'Good luck. I'll see you on May 9.'
City Attorney Todd R Perkins said he would have no comment until sentencing.
Fakih has said she wasn't drinking the night of her arrest in December, but two police breath tests put her blood alcohol content at more than twice the legal limit.
Polished: The former beauty queen arrived to court in a black skirt suit, with her family behind her
Relieved: Fakih speaks to reporters after appearing in court, and is expected to get probation during her sentencing hearing scheduled for next month
Police said Fakih was driving 60mph in a 30 mph zone and weaving in and out of traffic before they pulled her over in her hometown of Highland Park on December 3.
Officers found an open bottle of champagne behind the driver's seat of the 2011 Jaguar.
One breath test put her blood alcohol content at 0.20 percent and another put it at 0.19 percent. The legal limit is .08 percent.
Fakih's family moved to New York from Lebanon in 1993, and then to the Detroit suburb of Dearborn 10 years later.
Crowning glory: Miss Michigan Rima Fakih was crowned Miss USA in 2010
Making history: Rima Fakih was the first Arab-American voted Miss USA
When she won the Miss USA Pageant in May 2010, she became the first Arab-American to do so. Supporters described her win as a victory for diversity, saying it countered negative stereotypes about people of Middle Eastern descent that have flourished in post-9/11 America.
Shortly after she was crowned, photos emerged of the beauty queen in a 2007 poll dancing competition, causing a scandal.
Her reign as Miss USA ended in June of last year.
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