Kelly: Nothing funny about Bieber’s DUIWritten by Guest Author | | GuestAuthor@toledofreepress.com
by Sid Kelly
The weather was anything but awesome last week. While that topic took a front seat on “The Morning Rush,” it took the arrest of a celebrity to break up the monotony of bad weather. Of course I’m talking about Justin Bieber’s run-in with the Miami Beach Police. Here’s how this whole thing played out behind-the-scenes.
During a commercial break in the middle of Thursday’s show, Sara Hegarty shouted, “Breaking news, Justin Bieber was just arrested.”
We all jumped online to learn the details, and they were impressive.
To make a long story short, Bieber was arrested for DUI, resisting arrest without violence and driving on an expired license. We learned that police alleged that Bieber and his friend (singer Khalil) were drag racing through a residential neighborhood in Miami. The police claimed they were driving at speeds in excess of 50 mph in a 30 mph zone. As far as our audience was concerned, this was news that wasn’t really shocking. After all, this is the guy that police served a search warrant on because he allegedly caused thousands of dollars of damage by throwing eggs at his neighbor’s house.
As usual, whenever we get breaking news, we post it on our Facebook page and allow everyone to comment on it. The comments flew in and ranged from “send him back to Canada” to “loser.”
One of the things we noticed was the large number of teenaged kids outside the jail holding signs that read “Free Bieber,” and posts to Twitter that were more ridiculous, such as “all he did was drive drunk, why is he in hand-cuffs?”
One of the reasons this story became such a huge monster was because of how far Bieber has fallen from where he was. Added to the fall from perfection is the fact that he’s a role model for kids. Like it or not, it’s true. And to see signs questioning the legitimacy of his arrest for DUI really scared me.
I don’t like seeing anyone trivialize driving under the influence, regardless of their age. I’ve had very close friends killed by drunk drivers, and the subject matter is rather close to me. To think that there are people out there that still don’t understand how serious it is to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs is crazy.
Now that all the breaking news has calmed down, we’re hearing that Bieber actually blew a .011 and then again a .014. Those are both below the “zero tolerance” threshold Florida has for drivers younger than 21 (which is .02). Still, Bieber admitted to smoking pot and taking prescription drugs, both of which can impair your ability to drive. So, even if you’re upset he got a DUI for blowing under the legal limit, you need to know that DUI counts for drugs, too — not just alcohol.
There’s also some evidence being released that Bieber may not have been speeding in the first place. That’s making people question why Bieber was pulled over. Of course, that’s fueling rumors that there was a conspiracy to arrest Bieber.
Let’s not lose sight on the real issue(s) here. There’s still a 19-year-old kid that got behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs, and failed to comply with the police when pulled over. Those facts mean he endangered the lives of innocent people, all because he felt like he could. This isn’t OK.
Many of the problems Bieber is facing are due to his lack of discipline and parental supervision. But as a parent, you can use this unfortunate situation to discuss some important issues with your own kids. Issues like deciding to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after choosing to take drugs and/or alcohol. These are serious choices that need to be discussed with our kids so we can make sure they’re not standing outside a courthouse holding a sign that places no blame on someone for putting others’ lives in danger.
Or worse — killing someone due to driving drunk.
Sid Kelly is host of “The Morning Rush,” weekday mornings on 92.5 KISS FM.