69-year-old Vero Beach man says he wasn't drinking while driving, just at stop signs

Posted at 7:57 AM, Jul 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-11 12:23:09-04

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. -- A 69-year-old driver's claim that he was only drinking while at "stop signs" didn't keep him out of an Indian River County Jail. 

Earle Stevens Jr., 69, of Vero Beach, told investigators he wasn’t drinking while driving. Instead, he was downing Jim Beam bourbon only while stopped at traffic signals and stop signs

According to,  sheriff's deputies responded to a McDonald's in Vero Beach for a report of a disturbance. When they arrived, a woman said a vehicle behind her kept hitting her rear bumper in the drive-thru. She then pointed out the car to the deputies. 

When deputies approached Stevens Jr.'s vehicle, they noticed an open bottle of liquor in a brown paper bag in the passenger seat. He was then arrested. 

At the jail, breath tests measured Stevens’s blood alcohol content at 0.153 and 0.147 – greater than Florida's 0.08 legal limit.

Stevens also told authorities that he’d had two earlier DUI charges from Missouri.

To read more, click here.