You might recognize Thomas Gibson from "Criminal Minds," a long-running crime drama. Or if you're an oddball like some of us, you'll remember him as Greg from "Dharma & Greg." Yeah. Bad 90s sitcoms live on in our heart, if not on our TVs.
Mr. Gibson was driving his Audi SUV through downtown LA early Sunday when he came across a street closed for the purposes of a half-marathon. Why would anyone run a marathon at 1 a.m.? Good question. We'd counter that with: Why would anyone run a marathon at all when they could be watching "Dharma & Greg" VHS tapes? Fools.
Greg -- errr Gibson -- arrived at the street closure and an officer redirected him. He then allegedly tried to cross the closed street anyway, reports TMZ. One officer allegedly noticed a hint of booze on his breath, leading five officers to swarm around the suspect. Gibson, who was repetedly screaming, "I'm not resisting!" (see TMZ's video below), was then cuffed and placed under arrest.
Of course, Gibson then refused to submit to an alcohol breath test.
What does a (presumably) first-time offender face when he refuses a chemical test?
Before we address that important question, it should be noted that officers must have reasonable suspicion that a driver is under the influence before even requesting the test. Gibson's lawyer will likely argue that there was no good reason for the test -- other than an overzealous cop targeting a celebrity.
The officer, meantime, will likely insist that he or she smelled booze on Gibson's breath. Officer or alleged drunken driver: Who is more credible to a jury? Usually, it's the former. But if the jury sees the tape of the officers' possibly excessive force, that might distort their trust of the officers' testimony.
We'll see if the charge even makes it to court.
If the prosecutor chooses to push forward, Gibson could potentially face a one-year license suspension for refusing a chemical test under California's implied consent laws, if he also refused a blood test later on.
Refusing to undergo breath or blood alcohol tests, as the old argument goes, is circumstantial proof of "consciousness of guilt."
That, or Thomas Gibson could have just been really upset about his police beat-down.
- Discuss Your Case With a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer (FindLaw)
- What to Do When Pulled Over for a DUI: Three Tips (FindLaw's Los Angeles DUI Blog)
- Devin Ebanks' DUI: What's He Facing? (FindLaw's Los Angeles DUI Blog)
- So I Refused to Take a Blood or Breath Test; Can They Force Me? (FindLaw's Los Angeles DUI Blog)