Bond set at $2500 for Justin Bieber

Authorities in Miami Beach accuse pop star Justin Bieber of driving while intoxicated

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    Courtesy for Rey Mena

      A sober-looking Justin Bieber was released from jail Thursday following his arrest on charges of driving under the influence, driving with an expired license and resisting arrest. Police say they stopped the 19-year-old pop star while he was allegedly drag-racing down a Miami Beach street before dawn.

      The Stratford, Ont., native was arrested after police said they saw him heading down a residential street in Miami Beach in a yellow Lamborghini at twice the speed limit. Officers say he had an expired license, was initially not co-operative when he was pulled over and smelled of alcohol.

      Police say Bieber later admitted that he had been drinking, smoking marijuana and taking prescription medication. R&B singer Khalil Amir Sharieff was arrested in the same incident. He is charged with driving under the influence. Police said Khalil was driving a Ferrari.

      Bieber and Khalil, wearing bright red jail fatigues, made their initial court appearance via a video link from jail. They remained silent while defence attorney Roy Black negotiated bond. Bieber's bond was set at $2,500. Khalil's bond was set at $1,000.

      Black, a high-profile lawyer whose clients have included Rush Limbaugh and William Kennedy Smith, said he thought the case would proceed ``hopefully as any other case would'' in light of Bieber's celebrity status.

      Authorities say Bieber was arrested after police saw him and Khalil racing two luxury vehicles down the street at 4:09 a.m., with two other vehicles apparently being used to block off the area. Police say Bieber was clocked at 55 mph to 60 mph in a 30 mph zone.

      Earlier Thursday, police chief Ray Martinez said at a news conference that the singer was initially not co-operative when the officer pulled him over. Martinez said the singer also had an invalid Georgia driver's license and admitted to smoking marijuana, taking prescription medication and drinking.

      According to the arrest report, Bieber ``had slow deliberate movements'' and a look of stupor on his face when the officer ordered him to exit his vehicle. Bieber was placed under arrest after repeatedly refusing to put his hands on his vehicle so the officer could pat him down to look for weapons, the report said. It says he cursed several times at the officer and demanded to know why he was being arrested.

      Bieber failed a field sobriety test and was taken to the Miami Beach police station for a Breathalyzer, police said. Results haven't been released.

      His publicist, Melissa Victor, did not offer an immediate comment.

      The street where police say Bieber was racing in mid-Miami Beach is a four-lane residential street divided by a grass median dotted with palm trees. Along one side of the street are small apartment buildings, and on the other side are a high school, a youth centre, a golf course and a city firehouse.

      It's a short drive from the area to trendy South Beach, where celebrities are known to let loose. George Avilas, who lives nearby said he didn't hear anything, but was not surprised to hear that people might be drag-racing.

      ``There's so much partying in Miami Beach, it's been known to happen,'' he said. ``It's 4 o'clock in the morning, everybody is just getting out of the bars.''

      Bieber was only 15 when his platinum-selling debut ``My World'' was released. He'd placed second in a local singing contest two years earlier and began posting performances on YouTube, according to his official website. The videos caught the attention of a talent agent and eventually led to a recording contract.

      He was positioned as clean-cut and charming, even singing for President Barack Obama and his family at Christmas, but problems began to multiply as he got older; Thursday's arrest is just the latest in a series of troubling incidents.

      Bieber has been accused of wrongdoing in California, but has never been arrested or charged. He is currently under investigation in a felony vandalism case after a neighbour reported the pop star threw eggs at his house and caused thousands of dollars of damage.

      A neighbour had previously accused Bieber of spitting in his face, and a paparazzo called deputies after he said Bieber kicked him, but prosecutors declined to file charges in either instance. He was also accused of reckless driving in his neighbourhood, but in October prosecutors refused to seek charges because it was unclear whether Bieber was driving.

      His arrest in Miami is unlikely to affect the current investigation, which included nearly a dozen detectives searching Bieber's home last week searching for video surveillance and other evidence that could be used to pursue a vandalism charge.

      Bieber is also being sued by a former bodyguard who says the singer repeatedly berated him, hit him in the chest and owes him more than $420,000 in overtime and other wages. The case is scheduled to go to trial in Los Angeles next month.

      Under Florida law, people under the age of 21 are considered driving under the influence if they have a blood-alcohol content of .02 per cent or more, a level Bieber could reach with one drink.

      For a first DUI offence, there is no minimum sentence and a maximum of six months, a fine of $250 to $500, and 50 hours of community service. For anyone under 21, there is an automatic six-month license suspension.

      A first conviction for drag racing carries a sentence of up to six months, a fine of $500 to $1,000 and a one-year license suspension.

      Bieber's arrival in Florida earlier this week also is under investigation. Authorities in the suburban Miami city of Opa-locka are investigating whether the singer was given a police escort when he landed Monday at the Opa-locka Executive Airport.

      ``The escort was unauthorized by police administration,'' Assistant City Manager David Chiverton said.

      Police escorts from the airport are not uncommon, but they must follow procedure because they involve city vehicles, Chiverton said.

      ``There's a procedure,'' Chiverton said. ``These things must be approved, there's a process.''

      The Florida arrest likely won't affect Bieber's immigration status.

      According to U.S. immigration law, authorities do not revoke an individual's visa unless the person has been convicted of a violent crime or been sentenced to more than one year imprisonment.

      Immigration attorney Ira Kurzban says neither driving under the influence nor driving without a license can make an individual eligible for deportation. Nor would either of those offences keep Bieber from being readmitted into the U.S.

      ``He's not subject to deportation because of a DUI offence,'' said Kurzban, ``nor is driving with an expired license a deportable offence.''

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      • 35
      1. Suki posted on 01/23/2014 07:54 AM
        He's 19 and the legal drinking age in Florida is 21. I wonder why he hasn't been charged with drinking under age as well?
        1. donny p. posted on 01/23/2014 08:02 AM
          @Suki Good point, another Canadian following in Rob Ford's footsteps, giving us a bad name down there. After Ford's felony conviction for DUI and drug possession in Florida, maybe they learned their lesson and will sentence Bieber to jail time...good thing as Florida is the only state with no parole so he'll have to serve the full sentence...and they have chain gangs that do road work down there. Good stuff, then Bieber may not be able to cross the border into the U.S. again, I hear Ford is on that list too.
        2. Mark7 posted on 01/24/2014 01:48 AM
          @Suki Sadly he is a Canadian citizen and therefore of age at 19. Of course donny said good point to your post, as he never has a clue what he comments on. :)
      2. Only Common Sense posted on 01/23/2014 08:30 AM
        Driving under the influence
        Drinking under age
        Dangerous driving

        Please, Florida, do not let this opportunity slip past.
        Maximum fines and maximum jail time (6 months- no time off)
        Barred at the border in the future

        It would be an excellent "poison pill" for the spoiled brat from Stratford and a worthy example to others who think these activities are "cool".
        1. donny p. posted on 01/23/2014 08:46 AM
          @Only Common Sense They're waiting for blood test results for ecstasy and other drugs...more to come shortly. Apparently he rented a Lambo and a Ferrari, had his people block the road with their SUV's so he could race. Now they're looking at the bars that fed him alcohol, people in Florida take this stuff seriously, he's lucky he didn't get tasered and shot, everyone has conceal carry permits down there.
      3. Jeff posted on 01/23/2014 10:27 AM
        Justin Bieber was STREET Racing, not Drag Racing. Drag Racing is a motorsport. When will reporters get this right? Drag racing occurs on sanctioned racetracks under controlled conditions just like NASCAR, Forumula 1 etc. Reporting like this does a dis-service to responsible people, both amateur and professional who enjoy this type of racing.
      4. john posted on 01/23/2014 10:34 AM
        what the f$$$#ck is Justin doing ruing around in women s clothes piss drunk .

        sounds to me like a sex party gone wrong .

        oh thats right rummer has it he is a lesbian .
      5. Brent posted on 01/23/2014 01:34 PM
        What's the picture of Miley Cyrus doing there... oh wait, it's just Justin. He is old enough to know better, even though he is being enabled by the group of idiots that are surrounding him. I hope the law in Florida and California seize this opportunity and make the charges stick.

        Keep him in jail for 6 months. don't allow him to cross the border (back into Canada - haha). Seriously, he is very lucky the police caught him before he crashed the car into any number of people and killed them.
      6. Alex posted on 01/23/2014 02:40 PM
        Biebs is the song bird of our generation. He is the best thing to ever come out of Canada, and is incredibly deserving of his vast wealth. If he retires, it will be like losing Elvis, Sinatra, and Cash all over again; keep it up Justin! Canada loves and supports you in all you do! We're all so proud!
        1. dama posted on 01/23/2014 04:07 PM
          @Alex Can you say the same thing for Rob Ford ?

          I doubt so ..
        2. contiki posted on 01/23/2014 05:40 PM
          @Alex I hope that the court gives him the maximum permitted by law. He is behaving like a spoiled brat and needs to be forced to realize that he is above the law. He needs a couple of slaps on the head like the ones that Gibbs gives DiNozzo on NCIS.
      7. M posted on 01/23/2014 06:11 PM
        @Alex, well you're a daft bitch aren't ya?
        1. Q posted on 01/23/2014 06:16 PM
          @M Ya donkey, learn how to properly reply to a thread.
      8. Mark posted on 01/23/2014 08:40 PM
        Another rich spoiled brat going down. Looks good on him!
        1. donny p. posted on 01/24/2014 07:46 AM
          @Mark You talking about Robby Ford?
      9. Mike fromt the hinterland posted on 01/24/2014 06:22 AM
        Sadly for me over 20 years ago, my wife was killed by a drunk driver while driving home. Personally, I would like to give this kid a smack in the head and make him visit the family members who have been victims of drunk driving.

        Alex you little Bieberite, you need to grow up as well!
        1. Joe posted on 01/24/2014 06:26 AM
          @Mike fromt the hinterland Mike I am so sorry for your loss. It shows how immature this little punk is.
        2. Snedly posted on 01/24/2014 06:28 AM
          @Mike fromt the hinterland Mike I wouldn't give this kid a smack in the head. I believe someone should nut stomp him so that he does not propagate his stupidity into the world through his procreation activities.
      10. john posted on 01/24/2014 02:34 PM
        only $ 2500 man what a cheap bastard . i would have charged more .
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