SOURCE: TC Palm
Vero Beach, FL — Earle Stevens Jr. told investigators he wasn’t drinking while driving.
Instead, he was downing bourbon only while stopped at traffic signals and stop signs.
Stevens’s explanation, however, didn’t keep him out of jail on a DUI charge following a June 27 incident in Vero Beach, an arrest affidavit states.
Indian River County sheriff’s officials went to a McDonald’s in the 700 block of South U.S. 1 in Vero Beach for a possible disturbance.
A woman said a vehicle behind her in the drive-thru kept striking her rear bumper. She pointed to a vehicle driven by Stevens, 69, of Vero Beach.
Stevens said he’s never had a valid Florida driver’s license. Deputies noticed he did have an open bottle of liquor in a brown paper bag in the passenger seat.
Stevens smelled of booze, saying he felt “pretty good.”
He said he was drinking Jim Beam bourbon from the bottle in the passenger seat. He said he was drinking at “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,” the affidavit states.
He said he imbibed “actively” from Port St. Lucie to Indian River County.
Lots of stop signs and traffic signals are between Port St. Lucie and Indian River County.
Stevens participated in field sobriety exercises and was arrested on charges of DUI and driving without a license.
At the Indian River County Jail, breath tests measured Stevens’s blood alcohol content at 0.153 and 0.147 – greater than the 0.08 legal limit.
Stevens said he’d had two earlier DUI charges from Missouri.