Mitchel Musso, who starred alongside Miley Cyrus in the television series “Hannah Montana,” was arrested in Burbank last Sunday on suspicion of driving under the influence. Police were attempting to redirect traffic around an unrelated traffic accident when Musso reportedly drove into the area.
Police claim Musso failed to properly reduce his speed in the area where police were redirecting cars. A police officer pulled the actor over. The officer says that he could smell a “strong odor of alcohol” during the traffic stop. The police officer says he expanded the scope of the traffic stop to investigate Musso on suspicion of drunk driving.
Experienced DUI defense attorneys are aware that, during traffic stops, police often use the odor of alcohol or other nebulous claims of indicia of impairment expand the original basis for the stop and investigate their suspicion that a driver may be under the influence. The expansion can occur during any type of traffic stop, from a broken taillight to allegations of speeding. In Musso’s case, the original basis for the stop was allegedly that the actor failed to slow down for police as they redirected traffic.
The actor reportedly did not perform well during field sobriety tests and was hauled in to take a DUI breath-test. Police say the actor’s blood alcohol level was over the California legal limit of 0.08 percent. The Burbank City attorney has charged the 20-year-old actor with two counts of misdemeanor DUI.
News reports say that bail was set at $5,000, but Musso reportedly was released without posting bail due to his clean driving record. A court date is scheduled for November 11.
Source: Daily Mail, “Hannah Montana star Mitchel Musso charged with DUI and facing jail,” Sarah Fitzmaurice and Jade Watkins, Oct. 22, 2011