Two Sisters, One Car, Two DUI Charges?

CC imageTwo sisters in Miami attempted to fool police officers by switching seats after a police officer tried to stop their car for suspicion of driving under the influence. Instead of fooling the officer, both sisters ended up being charged with DUI.

The incident unfolded last month when Steffany Miranda, 18, and her sister Vanessa Miranda, 24, were riding along U.S. Highway 1 late one Saturday night.

According to the police report, officers noticed the girls’ Volkswagen was swerving, rapidly changing speeds and braking erratically over a seven-mile stretch of highway. Deputy Juan Martin-Reyes, who was following the car, turned on his lights and attempted to get the occupants to pull to the side of the road.

Instead of pulling over, Steffany, who was driving the car at time, stopped the car in the middle of the road. Then, in clear view of officer Martin-Reyes, and his handy dandy dashboard camera, Steffany and Vanessa switched seats. Vanessa then pulled the car over to the side of the road.

Double Trouble

After officers approached the vehicle, they noticed both Vanessa and Steffany reeked of booze. They asked each sister to step out of the vehicle to preform field sobriety tests. Both Vanessa and Steffany had trouble completing the test, and officers later asked them to submit to a breathalyzer. Steffany refused, but Vanessa took two tests, registering a .127 and .129, both well over the .08 legal limit.

Steffany may have thought she had successfully avoided a DUI charge, but officers informed her they had video evidence of the switcheroo. Both sisters were eventually charged with driving under the influence because they were both behind the wheel with the keys in the ignition at one point.

Related sources: NBC News, NY Daily News

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Avery Appelman is a criminal defense lawyer and the founder of Appelman Law Firm. While his practice is primarily recognized for its work with DWI and related offenses, he has 16 years of experience working with clients on drug, assault, theft, traffic, criminal sexual conduct, and prostitution charges.

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