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Florida man says he was drinking while stopped, not driving

If you’re arrested on DUI charges in Florida, it is wise to speak with an attorney before answering questions from law enforcement.

A man recently charged with DUI didn’t do that.

Instead, the 69-year-old man from Vero Beach, Florida, told deputies he wasn’t drinking and driving. He said he was just drinking from his bottle of bourbon when his car was stopped at stop signs and at traffic lights, according to Treasure Coast Newspapers.

The incident started June 27 when officers were called to a McDonald’s in the 700 block of South U.S. 1 in Vero Beach. A woman complained that the car behind her struck her rear bumper while they both were waiting in the drive-through lane. She identified the car as the one driven by the 69-year-old man.

As they approached the car, deputies saw a brown bag on the passenger seat with an open liquor bag inside. The man smelled of alcohol and told deputies he felt “pretty good,” according to the newspaper.

He reportedly made a number of statements to law enforcement, including that he had been drinking Jim Beam bourbon from the bottle in the bag – but only at stop signs. He also said he never had a Florida driver’s license and had been arrested twice previously on drunk driving charges in Missouri.

He added that he had been drinking “actively” from Port St. Lucie on his way to Indian River County. After a field sobriety test, he was arrested on suspicion on DUI and for driving without a license. Once at the jail in Indian River County, he took breath tests that registered his blood alcohol content (BAC) level at .153 and .147, well above the .08 legal limit.

A Florida attorney with experience in drunk driving cases would have offered wise advice to this man. If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, remember to contact an attorney who can help you before you make statements that can be used against you.