Dash cam video of newlyweds released

April 2, 2009 8:32:20 PM PDT
A bride on her wedding night was put in handcuffs and taken to the county jail, right along with her new husband. For the first time, we're seeing dash cam video of newlyweds caught in a drunk driving crackdown.[DASHBOARD VIDEO: See dashcam video from the arrest last month]

The arrests, followed by the newlyweds' time in jail, led to a complaint being filed against local law enforcement. The couple felt they were unfairly held up as an example.

The couple has taken responsibility for their arrests. They have pleaded out their cases, but the video shows much more about what happened the night they were arrested, including a part where the bride almost had her chance to go free.

It is the traffic stop that has people across the area talking.

"You're fixing to talk yourself into the county jail," a deputy could be heard saying on the dashboard camera.

"(Inaudible) put me in the county jail. I don't care," said Jade Puckett, who had just gotten married.

The new bride in her wedding gown was arrested and placed in handcuffs. Her new husband, faced with the same fate, was taken down to the county jail.

The arrest on March 15 was part of a DWI crackdown conducted by Precinct 8 constable's office. The deputy shown on the dash cam video pulled over the car after allegedly witnessing the bride attempt to leave the moving vehicle. Billy Puckett, the groom still in his tuxedo, explains what happened.

"It's our wedding night and she's freaking out," he said. "We're trying to find the hotel (inaudible)."

"So she's jumping out of a moving car?" asked the officer.

"Yeah," said Puckett.

The video goes on to show the groom go through at least three different sobriety tests.

"Do I keep (inaudible)?" Puckett asked the deputy.

"Do you remember the instructions?" asked the deputy in response.

He's then handcuffed charged with drinking and driving. At one point, you can hear the groom admit being drunk.

"Maybe you had too much to drink?" asked the deputy.

"Yeah," he responded.

"You had too much to drink?" asked the deputy.

"Yeah," answered Puckett.

"Do you think you had too much to drink to be driving tonight?"

"Not to be driving, but just like (inaudible), I don't know," said Puckett.

After talking to the bride and determining she too was too drunk to drive, you can hear on tape the deputies offer to call someone to pick her up. But when that doesn't go as planned, she, too, found herself in trouble.

They asked, "Where's your phone?"

"Probably in my purse," she answered.

"You're fixing to talk yourself into county jail," the deputy cautioned. Puckett responded, "(Inaudible) put me in county jail."

It was certainly a wedding night to remember.

We made several attempts to the reach the couple today, as well as their attorney, but, as of right now, we have not heard from any one of them. The Precinct 8 constable's office is also refusing to comment on the case.

The couple has filed a complaint with Precinct 8 over how they claim they were treated after their arrests. Jade Puckett says her cell was filthy and overcrowded. She also claims deputies repeatedly opened the cell door to point her out to other jailers.

They said officers made them the poster child for their campaign against drunk driving. Our legal analyst Joel Androphy watched the video of the arrest.

"Are they a poster child? Possibly so," he said. "But they put themselves in that position and the only people at fault at the end of day are them for drinking and driving."

Puckett wrote in the complaint "We are not now complaining about the stop. I am complaining about the lack of professionalism of our law enforcement community and the fact that they chose to hype this arrest by embarrassing me and my family."

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