On Thursday, July 9, Cuban superstar rapper Pitbull (also known as Armando Perez) was found not guilty of driving under the influence in a decision that has frustrated some non-celebrity Los Angeles DUI defendants, who’ve contended that the famous Cuban rapper (who’s most renowned stateside for the hit song, “Mr. 305”) got off the hook just because he’s wealthy and well-known.
Perez employed a DUI defense attorney to make his case. By employing a top notch DUI defense attorney, he was able to use the law and the facts to his benefit. These tactics are used by many celebrity Southern California DUI attorneys utilize. According to reports, Perez had been driving well over 90 mph on the Palmetto Expressway in a Mercedes, when he zipped past a police officer, who pulled over the rapper for traveling in excess of 40 miles over the speed limit. According to law enforcement testimony, Perez failed a Breathalyzer test, smelled strongly of alcohol, and punted every single field sobriety test administered. Nevertheless, the jury bought the defense’s argument that Pitbull had in fact been targeted for arrest simply because he was a celebrity. The jury reached its decision after just three hours of deliberation.
Before arresting subject suspects for California DUI, officers can administer what are known as field sobriety tests. These ad hoc examinations help officers ascertain whether suspects are under the influence or not. They can include:
Walk the line test — the driver is asked to walk in a straight line. If he or she cannot, the officer may suspect that drug or alcohol use has impaired coordination.
Rhomberg test — suspect is asked to tilt his or her head backwards and count up to 30. The theory is that inebriated drivers will tip over or lose their balance.
Finger to the nose test — a suspect is asked to close his or her eyes and touch a finger to his or her nose. Suspects with high BAC levels theoretically will not perform this test as well as sober individuals.
Horizontal gaze test — a suspect is asked to follow a bouncing visual stimulus, such as a light or a finger. Theoretically, intoxicated individuals will show decreased eye coordination.
Stand on one leg test — the suspect is asked to stand on one leg for 30 seconds. The theory is that, individuals over the legal limit will lose their balance easier than will sober individuals.
Field sobriety tests and other exams that officers use to ascertain whether someone’s been driving under the influence in Southern California can be subject to a myriad errors, misinterpretations, and biases. That’s why it’s so important for anyone pulled over for a Los Angeles DUI — celebrity or not — to connect ASAP with effective, experienced, and reputable legal counsel.
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles or you are under investigation for driving under the influence in Southern California, please contact Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Michael Kraut for 24/7 assistance by phone at (323) 464-6453 or toll free at (888) 334-6344 or online.