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Comedian charged with DUI after near accident

Comedian Kevin Hart-who performed at the Baton Rouge River Center last August-was recently arrested on suspicion of drunken driving after his Mercedes came close to colliding with a tanker truck on a freeway in Southern California. According to California Highway Patrol, Hart appeared intoxicated when he was pulled over in the early morning hours on Sunday in Los Angeles.

Police said that Hart's vehicle was being driven erratically at over 90 miles per hour immediately prior to the near miss. Hart subsequently failed a sobriety test and was subsequently booked for misdemeanor DUI, then released on Sunday afternoon after paying a $5,000 bond. At the time of the incident, Hart reportedly had a female passenger in his vehicle. She was sent home via taxi after the arrest, apparently unharmed.

Sources didn't provide much detail about the way in which officers determined Hart's level of intoxication. Sobriety tests are often used alongside preliminary breath testing devices to gather evidence of intoxication. The whole goal of gathering this evidence is to be able to show later on in court that the defendant was too intoxicated to safely operate his or her vehicle-that their consumption of alcohol affected their ability to drive to an appreciable degree.

If police gather enough evidence of intoxication upon the arrest, they will typically take a breath or blood sample which is supposed to provide a more accurate reading. If the blood alcohol concentration is above the legal limit, which is .08 in Louisiana and in most states, it is enough evidence to convict the defendant of DUI without a lot of explanation.

Of course, there are some ways in which breath and blood samples may not be completely accurate. This and other issues are part of what defense attorneys look for in evaluating and building a criminal defense case.

Source: The Advocate, "Comedian Kevin Hart arrested on suspicion of DUI," April 16, 2013

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