Justin Bieber wasn’t drag racing when Miami Beach police stopped him and another driver, before arresting them for allegedly DUI, according to TMZ-obtained GPS records published today.
The 19-year-old star and his pal, Khalil Sharieff, also 19 – driving a yellow Lamborghini and red Ferrari respectively – weren’t charged with drag racing. But it is the primary reason for the traffic stop according to the arresting officers’ police report, which claims they going at between 55 and 60 mph when they first noticed them.
The GPS records – and surveillance video of the so-called drag race first obtained by CBS4 in Miami – tell a different story. It’s believed this may undermine the basis for the three charges against the Canadian and Sharieff’s single count.
Bieber was charged with DUI, resisting arrest without violence, and driving with an expired license on January 23 before being released the same day on a $2.500 bond.
The gist of TMZ’s GPS report builds on a story they broke last week which claimed Bieber and Sharieff were under the 30 mph speed limit on the residential Pine Tree Drive, when a lone, patrol cruiser pulled them after reportedly following them for 15 blocks.
The police report states:
“It appeared that the sports cars were preparing for a drag race,” the officer wrote, adding he estimated the speed of the two cars was 55 mph to 60 mph in a 30 mph zone.
The GPS system installed by the exotic car rental outlet tracks location and speed.
According to TMZ, Bieber’s Lamborghini left SET nightclub at 04:07 am reaching a top speed of 44 mph. Just two minutes in, the GPS registered a maximum speed of 27 mph.
Miami police claim they noticed the Bieber convoy – the two luxury cars and two Escalades, one of which Bieber’s father Jeremy was in – in drag race mode on the 2600 block of Pine Tree Drive. When the teen singer stopped at the 4100 block he was arrested.
TMZ notes the read out was 27 mph on the 3700 block, an undeniably low speed at the mid-point of the mythical drag race.
In addition, police claim the two Escalades were stopped on Pine Tree to block traffic so that Bieber and Sharieff could drag race.
The website got hold of the GPS for one of the Escalades. After a stay of under one and half hours at SET, the Escalade moved off at 04:06 am and didn’t stop until Justin was pulled. In short, “it never stopped to accommodate a so-called drag race,” the site notes.
Whether this specific information highlighting contradictions in the police report substantially affects the case against Bieber remains to be seen.
Yesterday, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office released the preliminary toxiocology report for Bieber.
Despite previous blood alcohol readings which showed two completed breath tests came up as 0.014 and 0.011 (both under national and Florida’s legal limits for under 21 and above), the singer’s urine sample after arrest tested positive for Tetrahydrocannabinol — the main psychoactive chemical in cannabis and Alprazolam — also known by its trade name Xanax, a prescription anti-anxiety medication.
“There’s indications that he had Xanax in his system, which is an anti-anxiety, and then you also have marijuana in the system, which he didn’t have a prescription for, but that combination even with a small amount of alcohol is a cocktail that definitely can lead to impairment,” defense attorney Michael Grieco told NBC 6 News.
Police previously stated Bieber failed field sobriety tests and admitted to drinking one beer, smoking marijuana, and taking prescription medication.
The new report also contained information about the teen singer being “excited, talkative, profanity, cooperative, insulting, and cocky,” while noting he had a pronounced odor of alcohol on his breath, bloodshot eyes and a flushed face. It’s claimed Justin was swaying, couldn’t walk heel-to-toe as instructed, had trouble turning without losing his balance, and couldn’t easily follow a moving object with his eyes.
All of the above, if established, form part of the criteria for the DUI and resistance to arrest without violence charges. Add to the expired license charge which is already proven, and ultimately, there is still a case. But every little helps and the GPS records may do that.
A lawyer for Bieber filed a not guilty plea ahead of the February 14 arraignment hearing in Miami.
Under Florida law the singer doesn’t have to attend, but attorney Mark Shapiro, one of three attorney’s representing said, “A decision on that has not been made.”