Celebrity Chef, Todd English, Charged with DUI

Early Sunday morning, celebrity chef, Todd English, was stopped on a county road on Long Island, New York.  He was arrested for a DUI.  He posted a $1,500 bond and was released.  Details of the contact and arrest have not been released.

English has opened multiple successful restaurants and has appeared on Iron Chef USA.  He has also authored cookbooks and is the recipient of a James Beard award.

The reason for the traffic stop is not reported.  Traffic stops must be legally valid, otherwise all evidence gathered as a result of the contact can be suppressed or thrown out.  There are two types of police encounters as it relates to traffic stops.  A police encounter may be consensual.  An example of a consensual encounter would be if you are pulled over to the side of the road and an officer comes up to you to see if you need help and you agree, or consent, to having continued contact.

If the contact is not consensual, then it must be supported by reasonable suspicion.  The most common example of reasonable suspicion as it relates to traffic stops is when an officer sees a driver commit commit a traffic violation.  The officer pulls the driver over for the traffic violation and then, upon contact, he smells alcohol and notices the driver’s eyes are bloodshot and watery.  These observations allow the police to continue contact regardless of whether the driver consents to the continued contact.

Sometimes contact can begin as consensual and over time, police can get enough information to have reasonable suspicion to detain the person without consent.  It is also important to know that consent can be withdrawn.  If you initially consent to contact, but then change your mind, you should be allowed to leave so long as the officer has not gathered enough information to give him reasonable suspicion to continue the contact over your objection.