Los Angeles (CNN) -- Rodney King, whose videotaped beating by police led to the 1992 Los Angeles riots, was charged Wednesday with two misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence, authorities said.
"His alcohol content exceeded the legal limit and he was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs," Riverside County Sheriff spokeswoman Courtney Donowho said.
On July 12, King was behind the wheel of a 1994 Mitsubishi when he was pulled over in Moreno Valley, California, about 60 miles southeast of Los Angeles. Prosecutors have up to 45 days to file charges on a DUI arrest.
According to the police report, a Moreno Valley traffic enforcement unit observed King commit "several traffic violations," Donowho said, although he was not cited for speeding. After questioning King, a patrol officer noticed King exhibiting "signs of behavior that might involve alcohol or drug consumption," she said.
King was asked to step out of the car and submit to a voluntary field sobriety test, said Donowho, adding that King was cooperative and compliant.
King was arrested and transported to the Moreno Valley Police Department for an evidentiary test to determine the type of substance.
Following his release from custody, King told CNN he was under the influence of a medical marijuana prescription but denied being under the influence of alcohol.
"I had marijuana in me that I take to deal with migraine headaches and pain in my lower extremities, although I should not have been driving," he said.
King was unavailable for comment on the misdemeanor charges, according to his fiancee Cynthia Kelly. Arraignment is scheduled for Friday at Riverside County Superior Court.
King's 1991 beating by Los Angeles police officers after a traffic stop left him with skull fractures and brain and kidney damage. It was captured on video by a nearby resident, and four officers were indicted as a result.
The following year, three officers were acquitted and a mistrial was declared in a fourth officer. Those verdicts in a predominantly white suburb of Simi Valley set off three days of riots in predominantly African-American neighborhoods. By the time it was over, 55 people were dead, more than 2,000 were hurt, and property damage exceeded $1 billion.
Two of the officers were later convicted of federal civil rights charges, and King won $3.8 million in damages from the city in a civil suit.
King was on parole for robbery at the time of the beating and has had several run-ins with the law in the ensuing years. He served a 90-day jail term in 1996 for a hit-and-run involving his wife at the time, and pleaded guilty in 2004 to reckless driving and driving under the influence of a controlled substance.
In March, he was cited for driving without a license after being pulled over in Arcadia, California.
Earlier this year, in a CNN documentary, King spoke to CNN's Don Lemon about his struggle with alcohol abuse. "I'll always have an issue when it comes to alcohol. My dad was an alcoholic, the addiction part is in my blood," King said. "What I've learned to do is to arrest my -- addiction, arrest it myself, so I don't get arrested."