A drunken Georgia man was recently pulled over and arrested for a DUI. This is certainly not an uncommon occurrence, but the story made headlines because of the driver’s excuse for his apparent intoxication. According to police, the driver claimed his dog was actually the one driving the vehicle. News stories have featured bizarre driver excuses for alleged intoxication before, including the man who claimed he was driving drunk just to sober up. However, this Georgian’s excuse definitely surprised many reporters and law enforcement officials, especially the local responders.

The Dog Did It

Deputies of Oconee County, Georgia were responding to calls about a dog locked in a vehicle when they discovered the allegedly drunk driver. When the dog’s owner was spotted by the store where the car was parked, officials immediately suspected he was intoxicated. When confronted, the man claimed his dog drove him to the store to buy produce.  This tale heightened officers’ suspicion about the driver’s sobriety, and they eventually arrested him. In addition to the DUI charge, the driver faces a charge of animal cruelty for leaving the dog in his parked car. Witnesses stated that the temperature was 99 degrees at the time, and officers measured the vehicle’s internal heat at over 120 degrees. When approaching the vehicle, officers also found a gasoline can inside with the animal. Gas fumes can be dangerous to people and animals alike, and the dog was quickly seized by animal control officers.

This isn’t the last time we heard this excuse from a driver.  In October 2015, a Manatee County, Florida resident, Reliford Cooper III was arrested on suspicion of DUI.  After trying to flee he claims that his dog was driving the car. Read more on that story here.

Though most intoxicated drivers do not face simultaneous animal cruelty charges, some drivers can face multiple charges in addition to a DUI or DWI. In New York, one example is a driver facing a charge for refusing to submit to a chemical blood alcohol test, and then being charged with driving while intoxicated. New York law allows police officers to administer a blood, breath, or urine chemical test to measure a suspected intoxicated driver’s blood alcohol content level. This law also requires the driver to submit to such a test. If the driver refuses, he or she will face a DWI Chemical Test Refusal charge. A driver convicted of this charge can face license revocation for 12 to 18 months, and a fine up to $750. This charge and any subsequent penalties are in addition to any penalties for a DWI conviction, and may be imposed even if the motorist is found not guilty of the underlying DWI. If found guilty and convicted of DWI, a New York driver will face up to one year in jail, a minimum of a 6-month license revocation, steep fines and surcharges, and required use of an ignition interlock device for one year.

Contact Nave DWI Defense Attorneys for Help

If you or a loved one is facing one or multiple charges stemming from a DWI or related arrest, call the experienced attorneys at Nave DWI Defense Attorneys. Our attorneys have successfully defended countless New York drivers, many facing a number of charges related to the DWI. Nave DWI Defense Attorneys solely focuses on DWI and related offenses, including chemical test refusal, vehicular assault, and vehicular manslaughter charges. Are you facing these or any related charges? If so, you need to contact New York’s premiere DWI law firm, Nave DWI Defense Attorneys. Contact us today for a free case evaluation and expert legal advice.

DISCLAIMER: The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem.  Corporate offices for Nave DWI Defense Attorneys are located at 432 N. Franklin Street, Suite 80, Syracuse, NY 13204; Telephone No.: 1-866-792-7800.  Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.  Attorney Advertising.