TMZ.com released a video today of Justin Bieber's post arrest DUI field sobriety tests that were administered inside the jail. The field sobriety tests are the screening tests officers are taught to administer to help them make more accurate decisions about whether someone is intoxicated by alcohol prior to arresting them for DUI. More and more police departments are having the suspects perform the tests again in front of a camera after the arrest in order to build the case that the suspect was intoxicated.
The video released by TMZ shows Mr. Bieber performing the Walk-And-Turn test. The walk-and-turn test requires you to stand with one foot in front of the other with your arms by your side as the officer instructs you on how to perform the test. After making sure you understand the test, you are to perform the test by taking nine heel-to-toe steps down a line, make a slow, controlled turn, and return back down the line by taking another nine heel-to-toe steps.
The video has no sound, and Mr. Bieber is off camera for part of the test. Nonetheless, it appears that Mr. Bieber performed the test adequately. Confusingly, he walked down the line, made a slow, controlled turn, then return before inexplicably walking back and forth again. This is not how this test is administered. Since we can't hear the instructions, it's difficult to say what is going on here.
Officer's are also trained to remain still and not distract the person performing the test. In the video, however, the officer is seen walking backwards, and then forwards, and then pulling out a cellphone. Why an officer would need to pull out a cellphone while administering a field sobriety test on a celebrity?
Could it be that the officer was taking pictures for his personal enjoyment of Mr. Bieber's test performance? Isn't it entirely likely that Mr. Bieber could have been distracted by this officer's actions?
While this video is not conclusive proof that Mr. Bieber was treated unfairly, it certainly raises questions about how this case began and why it is being prosecuted. According to TMZ, law enforcement believes "this particular clip is their best evidence Bieber was under the influence -- because he misses a couple of steps."
If this is their best evidence, then Mr. Bieber's charges should be dismissed and he should receive an apology. While they're at it, the department should investigate why an officer had a cellphone out during Mr. Bieber's test performance. Even if he didn't take photos, or video of the test, shouldn't he be paying attention to Mr. Bieber's performance? Isn't that the job?
You can see the video here.