Mel Gibson given the thumbs to put his DUI shame behind him

Mel Gibson given the thumbs to put his DUI shame behind him

( - Relieved Mel Gibson was today given the thumbs up by a judge to finally put his DUI shame behind him.

The Lethal Weapon star - caught drink-driving in July 2006 - was praised for meeting all the demands of his probation and told he will not have to come back to court.

Judge Lawrence J. Mira saluted Gibson for sticking to the rules of his rehabilitation at the half-way stage and wished him good luck for the future. But the judge warned: "Now you're on you're your own.

"This will be the most difficult time for you."

Gibson, smartly dressed in a suit, only spoke when the judge told him: "I believe you are committed to this rehabilitation."He replied: "Yes."

The actor, who infamously made ant-Semitic comments when he was arrested, stood alongside his attorney with his hands behind his back throughout the probation progress hearing in Malibu. He looked visibly relieved as he realised his DUI nightmare in the courts was finally over.

Judge Mira, who had insisted Gibson appear in person, told him: "I am pleased with the efforts you have put in on this round of probation."This hasn't been easy for you."

But the judge stressed Gibson is still only half-way through his probation. He said: "This probation has to run 36 months. There is no early termination."

The court heard how Gibson has attended Alcoholics Anonymous and court-ordered DUI meetings. Judge Mira said: "I don't see in this particular case any need for future progress reports."

He told Gibson he can continue to count on the support of the court and added: "Good luck to you."

The judge refused to let the hearing be recorded by reporters as he agreed it could encourage crazed fans who Gibson has been forced to take out a restraining order against.

Oscar-winner Gibson pleaded no contest to the DUI charge in August 2006 and was given three years' probation. He was also ordered to pay $1,400 in fines and attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, which he now does voluntarily.

Gibson was driving his Lexus in Malibu when he was arrested in the early hours of the morning in July 2006. He issued a statement a day later apologizing for his "belligerent behaviour" when he was arrested. And he admtitted he had "battled the disease of alcoholism for all my adult life".

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