WATCH: Details of Justin Bieber’s arrest in Miami Beach obtained
TORONTO — The arrest of Justin Bieber on Jan. 23 made headlines around the world and sparked debates and discussions about what’s happening to the Canadian superstar, who turns 20 on March 1. It also left people with a lot of questions. Here are a few of them — and some answers.
Justin Bieber was reportedly spotted at several nightclubs in the Miami area even though he’s under Florida’s legal drinking age. How did this happen?
The legal drinking age in Florida is 21 but that doesn’t mean a person under 21 can’t be inside a nightclub.
Clubs in the state can allow someone like Bieber (who’s 19) inside as long as they don’t allow him to consume alcohol. At the King of Diamonds strip club in Miami, Bieber was reportedly served only Red Bull and water.
In the city of Miami Beach, where Bieber enjoyed time at Mansion and SET, a local ordinance bans nightclubs from admitting anyone under 21 — unless they are accompanied by a parent or employed by the business. (At both clubs, management insist the singer was served nothing stronger than Red Bull.)
Technically, any club could “hire” Bieber to hang out in the VIP area and get around the restriction. At SET, though, Bieber’s entourage included his father Jeremy Bieber.
How was Bieber able to rent a luxury sports car if his license was expired and he’s only 19?
Good question. The 2013 Lamborghini Gallardo driven by Bieber is owned by Lou La Vie and normally rents for as much as $1,800 a day with a deposit of $5,000 to $12,000. The dealership’s rental policy requires drivers to be 25 years of older.
Asked who rented the car for Bieber, an employee told Global News: “We’re not commenting right now.”
How strict are Florida’s DUI laws?
The official maximum blood-alcohol level in Florida is .08 but for drivers under 21 like Bieber, it’s .02.
According to Miami Beach Police, the teen blew a .014 and .011 — below the limit. Urine analysis results will determine the level of drugs in his system. Officers allege Bieber told them he had smoked marijuana and taken prescription medication, which will be considered in determining his level of impairment.
Did Justin Bieber get special treatment after his arrest?
The answer is a definitive “yes,” according to Florida criminal defence lawyer Mark Eiglarsh.
Typically, someone booked into Miami-Dade County jail before 9:00 a.m. appears before a judge for a bond hearing at some point in the afternoon but someone booked in after 9:00 a.m. has to wait until the following day. Bieber was booked into the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Centre at 10:30 a.m. and appeared at a bond hearing shortly after 1:00 p.m.
“I’ve never seen that accommodation made for anyone in my two decades in the criminal justice arena,” said Eiglarsh.
Bieber also got released from jail a little quicker than most inmates.
“I could not believe how little time elapsed from the time the judge set the bond to the time he regained his liberty,” Eiglarsh said.
Bieber didn’t get gouged, though. Eiglarsh said the pop star got the same bond as anyone else facing the same charges — a total of $2,500.
Is Bieber going to jail? Will he be deported to Canada?
Not likely. A first-time DUI conviction comes with a maximum of six months in jail, community service, a fine and a license suspension. His other charges — resisting arrest without violence and driving with an expired license — are misdemeanors that each have maximum penalties of up to a year in jail. If convicted, Bieber will likely get probation, lose his license for a few months and pay some fines.
As for deportation, don’t count on it. Bieber has lived in the U.S. since entering the music business — first in Georgia, then in California — and nothing he’s accused of doing is serious enough for the government to send him packing.
Some media outlets reported Bieber was arrested in Miami. Others said Miami Beach. And a few said South Beach. What’s the difference?
Bieber was pulled over and arrested on a street in the city of Miami Beach by officers from the Miami Beach Police Department. Miami Beach is a separate municipality from Miami. South Beach is a neighbourhood located in the city of Miami Beach — but Bieber was pulled over in the North Beach neighbourhood.
Adding to the confusion, though, is that Bieber reportedly started his night at a club in the South Beach area of Miami Beach and, after his arrest, was booked into Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Centre, located near Miami International Airport in the city of Miami.
The official arrest report shows Bieber’s place of birth as “Toronto.” What’s up with that?
No one is sure. A Miami Beach Police Department spokesperson told Global News that’s what Bieber told them. In fact, Bieber was born in London, Ontario and spent his childhood in Stratford, Ont.
What are Bieber’s parents saying about this latest incident?
According to an article in UK tabloid The Sun — picked up by media outlets worldwide — Bieber’s mother Pattie Mallette asked fans to pray for her son. Not so, according to Mallette. “I didn’t do any interviews with The Sun,” she said on Twitter. “Gossip writers making things up? Shocker!!”
Mallette hasn’t, in fact, made any public comment yet about Bieber’s latest misadventures.
As for the singer’s father, who was in Miami Beach when it all went down, he has only made vague comments on Twitter. “I can protect my kids, but I can’t protect them from you and your lies. Believe in the truth not in the lies of the enemy,” he wrote. “Worry about the log in your eye before judging the spec in mine! I will answer to my maker as will you! Truth always wins!”
What’s going with Bieber now?
The superstar has tweeted only one message to his 49 million followers since his arrest.
Bieber left Miami for Panama City, where he is reportedly spending time with those closest to him, including manager Scott “Scooter” Braun.
On Jan. 24, Braun tweeted: “Been a long day. Bottom line is we are defined by how we handle adversity. Be there when it counts. Love fully in good times and bad.”