Chalk this one up to one crazy drinking and driving story, but was it really? In a bizarre twist, a Florida man claimed he wasn’t drinking while driving during a DUI arrest. No, he was only drinking from an open bottle of Jim Beam while he was stopped at stop signs or traffic signals. So, he clearly wasn’t drinking and driving!
Drinking and Driving Arrest
Earle Stevens Jr. of Vero Beach was arrested for driving under the influence and driving without a valid driver’s license, which was reported by the Orlando Sentinel. The incident started when a woman call the police after Stevens’ car kept hitting her car while in a McDonald’s drive-thru. In the police report, “She stated that his vehicle struck her rear bumper a second time and ‘over and over.’”
Once the police arrived on scene, the report stated, “In the passenger seat I could see an open bottle of liquor in a open brown paper bag. As Mr. Stevens spoke I could smell a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from his breath. His speech was slurred and his eyes were red and glossy.”
Not Denying It
Stevens was not denying the fact that he was drinking. The deputy asked about the bottle on the passenger seat and Stevens said it contained Jim Beam bourbon. He asked how Stevens was feeling and he said, “I’m feeling pretty good.” However, Stevens started contradicting himself, as he told the officer he had “about three drinks” that day. Later in the conversation, that number went to four drinks.
Things Started To Get Weird
The drinking and driving stop took a turn when the officer asked Stevens if he was drinking in the vehicle. He claimed he wasn’t. The officer stated, “When I asked him where he was drinking he stated ‘Stop signs.’ He further explained that he was not drinking while the car was moving and only when he stopped for stop signs and traffic signals.”
So, he was not actually drinking and driving, in his mind. It was fine, since he was only doing it when the vehicle was not moving. Some people!
Another DUI For Him
Regardless of his attempt to get out of the DWI, the officer performed a field sobriety test and shockingly, Stevens failed. He was observed swaying in a circular manner. Stevens was also given a breath alcohol test and he registered a .153 and .147. He also was driving without a valid driver’s license, as he only had a Florida ID on him. Turns out, Stevens has two prior DUI charges on his record from Missouri! He was placed on $1,500 bond in advance of his arraignment.