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Can you blame drunk driving on the dog?

It's a classic middle school act to tell a teacher you don't have your homework because the dog ate it. One Florida driver apparently wanted to take that concept a step further by telling police officers he did not operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. According to his story, his dog was behind the wheel.

The Smoking Gun reported this summer that police caught a Florida man driving the wrong way on Interstate 95. Court records show that when the cops pulled him over, the man had trouble getting out of the car and required assistance. He was barefoot, and he told the cops he got into an argument with his girlfriend earlier about the dog. The officers reported that they could very much smell the stench of alcohol on his breath, and he claimed he was not behind the wheel of the vehicle but that his dog drove. However, when officers examined his vehicle, they found he was the only occupant.

When the officers asked the man how much he had to drink that evening, he claimed that he consumed "a bunch of drinks." Naturally, at this point, the officers placed the man under arrest for driving while intoxicated. The officers were also able to conduct a breath test and found that his blood alcohol concentration was well over the legal limit. In fact, it was three times the legal limit of 0.08. The man is now due in court on July 30th, and he has since pleaded "not guilty" to the DUI charge.

Building a legal defense

There are many things people should avoid when pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. To begin with, when the officer asks the driver if he or she had anything to drink that evening, the driver should use his or her right to remain silent.

Do you think "the dog did it" defense will hold up in court? Let us know in the comments below. And if you have questions about what you should and should not do when pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, contact an experienced DUI attorney for guidance.

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