Recently, the famous, and now potentially notorious, pop star Justin Bieber was arrested in Miami and charged with DUI, resisting arresting, and driving with an expired license. Officers reported that they initially stopped Bieber for drag racing a rented Lamborghini against another supercar in a residential area.
Bieber was suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, due to the usual police litany of having an odor of alcohol on or about his person, bloodshot eyes, and slow movements. The interaction with police was, reportedly, less than cordial with Bieber repeated using profanity, failing to obey orders, and ultimately resisting arrest.
Following his arrest, Bieber submitted to the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, a Breath Test, and a drug evaluation. Bieber also reportedly admitted that he’d been drinking, smoking marijuana, and taking pills that night.
What can Columbus readers learn from the allegations against Bieber? Obviously, drag racing a supercar after having a few drinks or smoking marijuana is bad idea, no matter who you are. But let’s look at how Bieber made his situation even worse after he was stopped by the police.
1. Cussing out the Cop. Whether you’re in Columbus, Ohio, Miami, Florida, or anywhere else for that matter, cussing out the cop who stopped you for a traffic violation is a sure way to provoke that officer into making your life more difficult. It’s also one of the standard items that go into an impaired driver report as an indicator that the person is drunk or under the influence. Not only that, but a jury may view that kind of belligerent behavior with such disgust that they decide your guilty right then. Lesson from Bieber: Don’t cuss out the cop! You’re only making things worse.
2. Field Sobriety Tests. I’ve read through hundreds of police reports in DUI and OVI cases from all over Ohio, and in almost every single report appear the words “odor of alcohol and bloodshot eyes.” No surprise, those same words appeared in the arrest report for Justin Bieber. A skilled DUI/OVI defense attorney can handle such mundane observations without little difficulty. However, when you add poor performance on Field Sobriety Tests to the equation the problem becomes more complicated and difficult. Lesson from Bieber: Don’t take the Field Sobriety Tests! You’d have to be a ballerina to pass. And you’re only providing the prosecution with more evidence to use against you in the DUI case.
3. Talking too much. Admitting to drinking is an all too common mistake in DUI and OVI cases. Bieber reportedly made the same mistake only more so. He admitted to drinking and to smoking marijuana and to taking prescription medications. Do not lie to the Columbus police, but if the truth hurts, remain silent. Sometimes telling the truth can get you into just as much trouble as lying. Lesson from Bieber: Assert your right to remain silent! Politely decline to answer any questions until you’ve had a chance to speak with your DUI lawyer. If you can’t reach a lawyer, politely refuse to answer any questions because you haven’t spoken with a lawyer.
4. Taking a Breath Test. Columbus or Miami, location doesn’t matter. Taking a breath test is a terrible mistake. The odds of passing a breath test are miniscule, and the benefit to taking the test is less than zero. In almost every single case, Justin Bieber’s situation included, taking a breath test only makes the case for drunk driving that much stronger. Of all the mistakes Bieber made, this was perhaps the most damning. Lesson from Bieber: Don’t take a Breath Test! You’re only providing the prosecution with even more evidence to use against you.
If you are charged with DUI/OVI in Columbus or central Ohio, call one of our Columbus DUI lawyers at 614-454-5010 for a free consultation. Learn from us how to put together the best possible DUI defense in Columbus.