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Inebriated driver tells cops he only drank while stopped at traffic lights

The man said he wasn’t drinking and driving because he only drank while stopped at stop signs and traffic signals


By PoliceOne Staff

VERO BEACH, Fla. — A man told Florida police that he wasn’t really drinking and driving because he only took swigs of his alcohol while stopped at stop signs and traffic signs.

Two weeks ago, police were called after a driver reported that a man, identified as 69-year-old Earle Gustavas Stevens, repeatedly tapped her bumper while in a McDonald’s drive-thru lane, The Smoking Gun reported.

Earle Gustavas Stevens, 69, said he had two prior DUI charges in Missouri. (Photo/Indian River County Sheriff's Office)
Earle Gustavas Stevens, 69, said he had two prior DUI charges in Missouri. (Photo/Indian River County Sheriff's Office)

After a deputy pulled over Stevens, the suspect reportedly reeked of alcohol, slurred his words and had “red and glossy” eyes. The deputy then saw a bottle of Jim Beam bourbon in Stevens’ car, which the suspect admitted to drinking.

When the deputy asked if he was drinking while driving, Stevens reportedly replied “no” and explained that he was enjoying bourbon at “stop signs.” Stevens went on to explain that he wasn’t drinking and driving because he wasn’t drinking while the car was moving.

Stevens was arrested after failing a series of sobriety tests, according to the Treasure Coast Newspaper. Breath tests measured Stevens’ blood alcohol content at 0.153 and 0.147, greater than the .08 legal limit.

Stevens said he had two prior DUI charges in Missouri. He was released on $1,500 bond.

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