The Mean Girls actress regained her freedom on Thursday (29Mar12) when Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Stephanie Sautner officially closed the case on her 2007 conviction for driving under the influence (DUI).
Judge Sautner warned the star to remain on her best behaviour as she is still on informal probation for last year’s (11) necklace theft conviction, and will remain so until May, 2014, but Lohan is just relieved to put the bulk of her troubles behind her.
She tells TMZ.com, “It’s just been a tremendous weight that I feel like has been lifted off my shoulders and I feel really grateful and just happy and ready to move forward.”
The actress, who has a string of arrests and run-ins with the law on her record, reveals she forced herself to turn her life around after realising she was speeding towards self-destruction.
She says, “I think that you know, first of all growing up and kind of just sitting back and seeing that I had worked so hard to be something that I wanted to be, which is in this industry, and then I kind of let it all fall apart, so kind of sitting back and looking at that and saying, ‘OK, this is not what I signed up for, like, wake up’.
And Lohan is grateful to Judge Sautner for realising her downfall was partly due to the lack of “structure” in her life – so she decided to build the star’s community service sentence and therapy requirements around a strict timetable.
But now Lohan is keen to get back to work with an upcoming TV biopic about the late Elizabeth Taylor, and she’s not about to let anything get in the way of staying on the straight and narrow.
She adds, “I’ve never placed blame on paparazzi and that sort of thing for what I’ve done. It doesn’t help, and it is very stressful, but at the same time it’s part of what comes with the position that I’d like to be in as an actress and that sort of thing. I think that I became more of a celebrity and I’d rather bring the focus back to what it is that I love to do and what it is I originally started in this business for, which is acting, and I think that with the help of this being in my past and staying focused, that’s something I can achieve.”