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Bieber says poor sobriety test performance partly due to foot fracture

Readers who follow pop culture have heard about Justin Bieber’s recent troubles, including an arrest in Florida on charges of driving under the influence and other offenses. Police apparently reported that Bieber performed poorly on various sobriety tests. According to officers, he was swaying and had leg tremors during one test.

Bieber has pleaded not guilty to the drunk-driving charges, and claims that his poor performance was due to a fracture in his right foot connected to a skateboarding accident several months prior to the incident. That injury was not mentioned during the arrest, according to police. Police also conducted drug tests on Bieber, and found traces of marijuana and alcohol, though his blood alcohol content was well below the legal limit of 0.08 percent. Bieber is set for trial at the beginning of May. It remains to be seen whether he will work out a deal with prosecutors prior to trial. 

Sobriety tests can be tricky from a defense perspective since they involve the best judgments of police officers, who can make mistakes. The goal of sobriety testing, of course, is to determine whether the driver has been drinking or using substances and whether this has affected his or her cognitive processing. If it has, police have a basis to say that the driver’s use of alcohol or drugs affected his or her ability to safely operate a motor vehicle to a legally appreciable degree. They can prove this with circumstantial evidence.

Further, sobriety testing also gives police a basis for taking a breath, blood or urine sample to determine the level of intoxication or impairment. When this level is at or above 0.08 percent, the driver can be charged with drunk driving. This is a separate basis for the charge and this charge can be challenged on a separate basis.

Those who are facing drunk-driving charges do well to work with an attorney who is able to identify the issues at play in such cases. Doing so will ensure the best possible outcome in their case. 

Source: CBS Local, “Police: Bieber Claimed Foot Fracture In Florida,” March 18, 2014. 

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