Actress Mischa Barton has been charged with drunk driving, marijuana possession and driving without a licence, according to Los Angeles prosecutors.

The OC star was arrested in West Hollywood at 02:46 local time on December 27th last year, after police saw her straddling two lanes of traffic and failing to signal when making a turn.

The 21-year-old was detained on suspicion of misdemeanour drunk driving after failing a field sobriety test and spent around seven hours in lieu of $10,000 (£5,000) bail.

She is to make a formal court appearance on Thursday to face charges of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving while having a 0.08 per cent or higher blood alcohol level, driving without a valid license and possession of 28.5 grammess or less of marijuana, according to court papers obtained by the Associated Press news agency.

Barton's lawyer, Anthony V Salerno, was quoted as saying he was pleased the actress had "received no special treatment" from the district attorney (DA).

"The DA's office is to be commended for treating this case the same as it would any other matter," he added.

The English-born actress, best known for her role as Marissa Cooper on The OC, made her film debut in 1997's Lawn Dogs.

She also appeared in The Sixth Sense and Notting Hill and recently played a cameo role in British comedy hit St Trinian's.

Barton's arrest capped a year of drink-driving problems for young Hollywood, with Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie all serving jail time for DUI-related offences.

27/02/2008 09:58:00