Country music artist Michael Ray shot to fame in Minnesota when his ballad ‘Kiss You in the Morning” climbed to the top of the Billboard Country Airplay chart in 2015. However, the 29-year-old entertainer’s wholesome reputation suffered a blow on Dec. 20 when he was taken into custody on drunk driving and drug possession charges. Police in Florida say that Ray was impaired by alcohol when his Jeep SUV struck the rear of another vehicle at a fast-food drive-thru.
Ray told officers from the Eustis Police Department that the accident occurred when his foot slipped off the brake pedal. However, officers say that they soon became more interested in Ray’s demeanor than the cause of a minor traffic accident. Authorities suspected that Ray may be impaired when they noticed that his breath smelled strongly of alcohol and his eyes were bloodshot. They also claim that the singer was unsteady on his feet when he exited his vehicle to perform a series of standardized field sobriety exercises.
The singer was taken into custody after allegedly performing poorly in these tests. A drug possession charge was added to the drunk driving count after police discovered a bottle containing a brown liquid during a pat down. Police say that Ray admitted that the liquid found in his pocket was cannabis oil. He is also said to have told police that he was drinking at a nearby bar before visiting the fast-food restaurant.
Police officers may tell suspects that full disclosure is in their best interests, but making spontaneous admissions or incriminating statements often serves only to provide prosecutors with the evidence they need to establish proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Criminal defense attorneys will likely advise their clients to avail themselves of their Fifth Amendment protections and make no statements until they have consulted with a lawyer.