Britto Paints Himself Out of Corner

No jail time for artist who drove drunk

Romero Britto may have painted himself into a corner when he drove drunk in March, but the eccentric Miami artist will avoid jail time under a plea deal announced Tuesday.

Britto will lose his license for six months, must perform 100 hours of community service and pay a $1,000 fine under the deal.

Britto had been nabbed by Miami Beach police back in March after officers observed him driving erratically in his 2001 black Bentley.
According to the arrest report, Britto was heading southbound on Washington Avenue when he started weaving a few times into another lane and almost struck another car, then a little later almost struck a parked car.

The officer who finally pulled him over observed that "the defendant had a flushed face, bloodshot watery eyes, slurred speech, and strong odor of alcoholic beverage." After a failed sobriety test, Britto was hauled off. He allegedly told police, "Officer, I live across the bridge, give me a break."

Britto's Bentley will be impounded for 10 days, while it is fitted with an alcohol monitor which Britto will have to blow into every time he turns the key.

"Mr. Britto accepts full responsibility for driving when he shouldn't have been driving," defense attorney Mark Shapiro told the Miami Herald. "In a sense, he's grateful to the police officer who was alert enough to pull him over before, God forbid, something tragic happened."

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