VERO BEACH, Fla. -- Technically, is it considered drinking and driving when the swigs only are taken at stop signs and traffic signals?
It's what 69-year-old Earle Stevens Jr. allegedly told officers upon his arrest in late June. Smelling a strong odor of alcohol on his breath, an Indian River County sheriff's deputy asked how many drinks he took from his bottle of Jim Beam bourbon.
"I don't know, about three drinks," said Stevens, according to Deputy Kevin Jaworski's arrest affidavit.
And where he was drinking?
"Stop signs," Stevens replied.
For those of age, it's kind of like Beerio Kart but more potent and sitting behind the wheel of an actual car.
The deputy responded to a call on June 27 at a McDonald's restaurant after a woman complained an older white male kept crashing into her rear bumper "over and over" while sitting in the drive-thru. Stevens didn't opt to drive away but instead provided a Florida ID card to Jaworski when asked for a license.
"That's all I have," Stevens reportedly said, denying he ever had a driver's license and saying he felt "pretty good."
His speech was slurred and eyes glossy, the deputy recorded, and Stevens had trouble getting out of the vehicle as he forgot to put it in park.
The affidavit says Stevens explained that he was not drinking his bottle of Jim Beam while the car was moving but only when he stopped for stop signs and traffic signals between the drive from Port St. Lucie to Indian River County -- at least a 15-mile stretch.
When asked again how much he had to drink, he replied, "Four drinks." Stevens also wasn't sure if he crashed into the woman's bumper, saying, "Not that I know of."
Jaworski had Stevens perform several field sobriety exercises, in which he needed some reminders and cues to stand as instructed, the affidavit says.
Stevens was taken to the Indian River County Jail for driving under the influence and driving without a valid Florida license. Breath tests taken at the jail measured Stevens’s blood alcohol content levels at 0.153 and 0.147, both greater than the 0.08 legal limit.
He later said he had two prior DUI charges out of Missouri.
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