Could Justin Bieber have gotten off with just a few traffic citations and been allowed to go his merry way, thus avoiding the public carnival that became his first arrest? We can't say for sure, but he certainly didn't help his chances by pretty much doing everything you're not supposed to do when pulled over by a Miami Beach cop.
1. Don't do anything illegal or suspicious.
Duh, moving on.
2. Once pulled over, be polite. Don't ask questions. Certainly don't swear at police.
Prosecutor and former Miami-Dade Police officer Dale Carson gave the Atlantic Cities tips on how not to get arrested. Chief among them is to be polite to cops.
"If cops lean into your space and blast you with coffee-and-stale-donut breath, ignore it," Carson writes. Same goes for if they poke you in the chest or use racial slurs. "If you react, you'll get busted." Make eye contact, but don't smile. "Cops don't like smiles." Always tell the truth. "Lying is complicated, telling the truth is simple."
Bieber was defiant with the officer who pulled him over. He asked the officer questions like "Why the fuck are you doing this?" and "I ain't got no fucking weapons. Why do you have to search me? What the fuck is this about?" There's no faster way to piss off a cop than swearing at him and not respecting his authority.
3. Don't fidget.
Even when you're pulled over for the most minor of offenses, officers, especially in Miami Beach, want to make sure you're not going to pull out a gun and shoot them or something. One time I got pulled over for exiting a well-lit garage at night without my lights on. Once the officer walked away with my license and registration, I began sifting through my glove compartment to make sure I had given him the most recent registration. (I hadn't.) He was back in a second to yell at me to stop. It's really no surprise, then, that the officer in this case was concerned that Bieber kept putting his hands in his pocket, which prompted a pat-down (which caused Bieber to curse more). Honestly, if you get pulled over, just keep your hands at your sides as much as possible.
4. Don't fuck around on Pine Tree Drive.
Bieber wasn't pulled over in South Beach. He was drag racing in a relatively quiet stretch of an upper-class residential neighborhood. His little drag-race adventure actually started off right in front of a youth center and playground (which is some sad irony, given the average age of his fans). Of course there are gonna be cops patrolling an area where wealthy people live.
Bieber actually isn't the first celeb to get popped there for DUI. Burn Notice star Jeffrey Donovan was stopped on 23rd Street and Pine Tree Drive in 2009.
5. Don't admit to drinking or doing drugs.
The Miami Herald reports that police sources say Bieber admitted to cops that he had smoked pot and consumed one or two beers in addition to some prescription pills. You don't have to do that. The Fifth Amendment still applies.
6. Even if you have just one drink, brush your teeth before getting behind the wheel.
Officers can be really, really good at sniffing booze. Bieber said he had only one or two beers, and his blood alcohol level from two tests came back low enough that, based on those results alone, he couldn't be prosecuted for DUI even though he was underage. Despite that, the police report notes the officer "immediately smelled the odor of alcohol emanating from the driver's breath."
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7. Don't drive a brightly colored sports car.
I mean, c'mon.