Al Gore III is charged with felony drug offenses in the July 4 speeding stop

By Ken Lee
Updated July 20, 2007 06:00 PM

Al Gore’s son was charged with felony drug-possession charges and lesser offenses related to his July 4 speeding stop, authorities said Friday. And a law enforcement source tells PEOPLE that Gore had 140 Vicodin pills and “dozens” of other prescription drugs.

If convicted on all charges, Albert Gore III faces up to three years and eight months in prison. But state law makes him eligible for a drug diversion program instead of incarceration, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

His arraignment is set for Aug. 1 in Laguna Niguel, Calif.

Gore, 24, was pulled over south of Los Angeles in a blue Toyota Prius around 2:15 a.m. July 4 for allegedly driving more than 100 mph.

Police previously said officers, who had searched the car because they detected the smell of marijuana, found prescription drugs including Xanax, Valium, Soma, Vicodin and Adderall, as well as a small amount of marijuana. No prescriptions were present, police said.

The amount of medication wasn’t revealed at the time, but the source tells PEOPLE that Gore was carrying 140 pills of Vicodin alone, along with “dozens” of the other medications.

Gore was arrested and taken to the Orange County Jail’s Intake and Release Center in Santa Ana, where his older sister Sarah bailed him out with $20,000 cash. His father later said that he was “getting treatment.”

In all, he was charged with two felony counts of possession of a controlled substance, misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and possession of marijuana, and a speeding infraction, the DA says.

The former vice president’s son has a history of encounters with the law.

In August 2000, he was ticketed for going 97 mph in a 55-mph zone in North Carolina, and had his driving privileges suspended.

Two years later, he was cited for DUI in Virginia. He eventually pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one year’s probation.

And in December 2003, Gore was arrested for marijuana possession in Maryland after he was pulled over for driving with his headlights off. He was sentenced to drug counseling in that case.

A Gore family spokeswoman had no comment.