DUI Suspects: Watch What You Say

In the early morning hours of Thursday, January 23, 2014, pop sensation Justin Bieber was arrested in Miami on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) after he was stopped for drag racing in a rented yellow Lamborghini. Bieber was also charged with driving on an expired license, and due to his uncooperative behavior – resisting arrest.

According to the Miami Beach police report, Bieber's resisting arrest charge (without force) was the result of his reluctance to comply with officers' requests. The report stated that Bieber continually questioned why he had been stopped, that he used profanity, kept placing his hands inside his pockets after being told not to, and was uncooperative when officers attempted to search him.

The Chief of Miami Beach Police said that Bieber also admitted to drinking alcohol and taking prescription medication.

What Drivers Can Learn from Bieber’s DUI Arrest

Bieber's behavior – and the repercussions that followed – serve as an example to anyone pulled over or arrested for driving under the influence in Orange County; always watch what you say. Your constitutional right to remain silent can be a powerful tool in your defense and your ability to avoid arrests, convictions, or penalties, thus, it’s important to remember the following should you ever be suspected of drunk or drugged driving:

  • You have the right to not discuss the events surrounding your arrest.
  • You have the right not to say how much you had to drink.
  • You do not have to speak to law enforcement officers, even if you are just making a denial.
  • If questioned by police, you have the right to request a DUI defense attorney.

By exercising your right to remain silent, you protect yourself from saying anything incriminating that may be used against you later. We can all learn from Bieber that it is best to remain polite with officers, comply with their requests (when within reason and the law), and to never curse at officers.

By engaging in the types of behaviors exhibited by Bieber during his arrest, you are potentially setting yourself up to be taken into custody. Additionally, you may receive additional charges, such as resisting arrest. Law enforcement officers do have an influence on what charges to file, and you should not give them a reason to pursue additional charges.

How to Politely Refuse to Answer Questions

Law enforcement officers have a hard job to do. Each day, they’re out patrolling the streets, they’re putting their lives on the line. They deal with common criminals every day who treat them poorly, so the best thing you can do is remain calm, polite and respectful during a DUI stop.

When asked “Have you been drinking?” or “How many drinks did you have today?” you don’t want to answer (if you’ve been drinking) and you don’t want to lie either. Simply say something to the effect of, “With all due respect officer, I decline to answer your questions.” Or, “I’m sorry, but I’m not going to ask any questions without my attorney present.”

If you don’t discuss if or how much you had to drink, it will give the police less ammunition to use against you in court. It’s as simple as that.

Regardless of what transpired during your arrest, our Orange County DUI defense attorneys are prepared to review your case, inform you of what to expect, and explain how we can defend you during both DMV hearings and criminal proceedings.

Contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. for a free case evaluation today!

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