In-car audio and dash camera video released Wednesday by police do not contain a South Carolina woman’s now-infamous alleged excuse for why she shouldn’t be arrested and charged with DUI.
But the Bluffton Police Department’s video of Lauren Elizabeth Cutshaw’s DUI arrest does show her making desperate pleas to the arresting officer not to take her to jail, for a variety of reasons.
Cutshaw, 32, told the officer the night of her Aug. 4 arrest she’d been out celebrating her upcoming birthday before Bluffton police reportedly saw her run a stop sign at 60 mph, prompting the traffic stop.
Cutshaw told the officer she had had two glasses of wine that night. The officer, after determining Cutshaw had failed her field sobriety tests, asked how full those “couple” glasses had been.
“I mean, I was celebrating my birthday,” Cutshaw said.
A search of Cutshaw’s vehicle also uncovered marijuana and rolling papers, and police say Cutshaw admitted she “may have” smoked marijuana earlier that night.
“You know that stop sign that you blew through at 60 mph? There was a car that almost went through it right before you did,” the officer told Cutshaw after placing her in handcuffs. “If they hadn’t seen you coming, you would’ve T-boned them and you could’ve killed somebody, and instead of a DUI, this would be a felony DUI and you’d be looking at 25 years.”
When the officer placed Cutshaw in the back of his patrol vehicle, she seemed in disbelief.
“I’m going to jail? Really? I’m going to jail? I’m going to jail?” Cutshaw asks. “I’m really that bad? Are you serious? Really?”
During the ride to the police station, Cutshaw, sobbing throughout, repeatedly stresses she has a clean criminal history.
She becomes frustrated when that doesn’t seem to count for much with her arresting officer.
“Can’t you see that in your system? Can’t you see?” Cutshaw asks the officer. “I’ve never been arrested my whole life … I’m not trying to hurt anyone. I promise.”
The officer tells Cutshaw he would’ve arrested her for reckless driving even if he hadn’t suspected her of DUI.
Along with her self-professed spotless criminal record, Cutshaw also points out her apparently stellar academic record and her involvement in extracurricular activities as a student.
“I graduated from a really good university. I was almost the valedictorian,” Cutshaw says. “I graduated with a 3.8 back in high school. I got a scholarship to my college.”
“I was a 4.0 student,” Cutshaw added later. “I was Who’s Who Among American High School Students. I was an All-American cheerleader.”
Cutshaw also later told her arresting officer she had been a sorority girl and a dancer, an incident report shows.
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SOURCE: ABC News 4, Drew Tripp