JULY 10--An inebriated motorist assured Florida police that he was not drinking while driving, but only swigging from a bottle of Jim Beam bourbon when his vehicle paused at stop signs and traffic signals, according to a police report.
Earle Gustavas Stevens, 69, was arrested two weeks ago for driving his Mercury Grand Marquis while under the influence. The Vero Beach resident, now free on $1500 bond in advance of a July 31 arraignment, was nabbed after a driver called 911 to report that Stevens’s car repeatedly tapped her bumper while they were in a McDonald’s drive-thru lane.
When a sheriff’s deputy contacted Stevens, he reeked of alcohol, was slurring his words, and had ”red and glossy” eyes. On the Mercury’s passenger seat was a bottle of Jim Beam, from which Stevens admitted he had been drinking.
Asked if he was drinking in the auto, Stevens replied, “No.” He then explained he was enjoying the bourbon at “Stop signs.” The deputy further noted Stevens’s distinction when it came to drinking while driving: “He further explained that he was not drinking while the car was moving and only when he stopped for stop signs and traffic signals.”
Stevens was arrested after failing a series of field sobriety tests, as first reported by Will Greenlee of Treasure Coast Newspapers. A breath test recorded Stevens’s blood alcohol content at nearly twice the legal limit.
In addition to a drunk driving charge, Stevens was cited for driving without a license. Stevens, seen above, reportedly told cops that he had two “prior DUI charges from Missouri.” (2 pages)