Celebrities who get pulled over and charged with DUI are often targets of the media. In a recent celebrity-DUI case, former Saturday Night Live star Chris Kattan was arrested and charged with driving under the influence in California. While his arrest is making headlines, the case also reminds us that anyone can get arrested, anyone can face harsh DUI penalties, and everyone needs defense. In any case involving DUI allegations, a driver should consult with experienced legal help as soon as possible.
Any driver pulled over and suspected of DUI may be asked to take a breathalyzer test or perform a field sobriety test. Remember that even before you are pulled over, law enforcement officers will be collecting evidence to be used against you in court. Our DUI defense attorneys in Birmingham are committed to protecting the rights of our clients. We take an informed and strategic approach to minimize charges and penalties in every case. In addition to our leading defense strategies, we are also abreast and informed of developments in DUI law in Alabama and nationwide.
According to reports, the 43-year-old actor was arrested in Encino, California and taken into custody after he collided with a state agency truck at a construction zone on the 101 freeway. The California Highway Patrol responded to the scene and performed a field sobriety test. Police followed the actor after he ran through freeway cones and crashed into the parked vehicle. A woman had called the police after she noticed that a Mercedes-Benz was weaving and driving at a slower than usual speed on Highway 101.
While swerving and slow driving can be evidence of a DUI, these driving behaviors do not prove guilt. Certain driving behaviors may give probable cause to stop a driver. Reports did not indicate whether Kattan blew over the legal limit; however police footage published online did illustrate that he had a difficult time performing the field sobriety tests. He stumbled after only a few steps and it appeared as though officers had to help him regain his balance.
Kattan later Tweeted that he passed tests and was released without bail. He even added that he kept his drivers’ license even though he allegedly admitted to using prescription drugs. Police reports indicated that he emerged from the vehicle unharmed, though he was incoherent. His Mercedes-Benz was smashed and had lost the bumper after the collision. While it is not yet known what charges he will be facing, his charges and penalties could be increased because of the accident. Damage to property or personal injury involving an accident are grounds for more severe charges and penalties in any DUI case.
Any DUI arrest can be humiliating, especially when the facts and details are part of the morning news. The actor defended himself and his mugshot after it was made public online saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Again, the case is a reminder that a DUI can impact not only your criminal record, but also your personal reputation.