Many people have never received a DUI, and most never expect to get one; but, as Justin Bieber has taught us this week, never say never.
Early Thursday morning, a Miami Beach Police Officer initiated a traffic stop of Bieber’s yellow Lamborghini for drag racing at the intersection of Pine Tree Drive and 41st Street – a residential neighborhood in which the speed limit is 30 mph. The officer wrote in the arrest report that Bieber and his competitor, who was driving a red Ferrari, were travelling at speeds of approximately 55 to 60 mph.
According to the arrest report , Bieber questioned the officer as to why he was being pulled over, and exhibited signs indicating his ability to drive was impaired. The officer then asked Bieber to exit the vehicle and place his hands on the vehicle so that the officer could perform a pat-down for weapons. Bieber was verbally hostile to the officer, and at one point took his hands off the vehicle and turned to face the officer in protest. Bieber repeatedly refused to comply with the officer’s request to keep his hands on the vehicle, despite a warning from the officer that if he continued to do so he would be subject to arrest.
The report goes on to state that Bieber tried to turn to face the officer again, at which point the officer handcuffed Bieber and placed him under arrest. Moreover, Bieber proceeded to resist the arrest, at which point he was placed into custody with the assistance of another police officer, and transported to the Miami Beach Police Department.
Upon his arrival at the police department, Bieber was offered SFSTs, or Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, according to protocol. The tests include the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, Walk-and-Turn, and One-leg Stand tests; more information about such tests can be found here. Bieber agreed to submit to the tests and, according to the arrest report, “did not perform to standards.” He also agreed to a breathalyzer test and drug evaluation.
As this was all unfolding, officers also discovered that Bieber was driving with an expired license, which is a criminal traffic violation in Florida punishable by up to 60 days imprisonment, probation, and a fine not to exceed $1,000.00 (Florida State Code § 322.065).
Later that day, Bieber made an appearance before a judge via a video link, in which the judge set bail at $2,500.00. Bieber was formally charged for DUI, non-violently resisting arrest, and driving on an expired license. Upon posting bail, Bieber exited the jail and was greeted by paparazzi and shouting fans.
Minus the luxury automobile and celebrity status, the aforementioned is a typical example of what can happen to individuals who decide to drink and get behind the wheel of a car. A DUI conviction can be a serious imposition on one’s livelihood, as it can lead to suspension of driving privileges, imprisonment, fines, and other collateral consequences.
However, if you have been charged with a DUI, there are legal resources available to you. In Bieber’s case, it is evident that the arresting officer and law enforcement personnel in custody acted consistently with their legal obligations. This is not always the case, however, and an experienced DUI lawyer will have an in-depth understanding of what a law enforcement officer must do at each stage in a DUI stop and arrest, and be able to identify any deviation from those obligations. If you are facing DUI charges in the state of Maryland, contact a Maryland DUI lawyer with Edward Tayter Attorney at Law today.