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Man charged with drunk driving, claims dog was really driving

A 26-year-old man was recently arrested on charges of driving under the influence in Manatee County. The Florida drunk driving arrest was made after the man's vehicle crashed into a house and two ditches. Police said the man claimed, however, that his dog was the one driving the vehicle when the accident occurred.

Police said they saw the man speeding and running a stop sign at about 7:45 p.m. Allegedly, he continued speeding. A deputy activated a patrol vehicle's emergency lights and chased the man.

Reportedly, the man could not negotiate a turn properly, causing his car to leave the roadway and end up in a ditch. The driver then overcorrected, causing his vehicle to veer across the roadway and into a second ditch before crashing into a house. The man then allegedly fled the scene on foot and hid in the bathroom of a nearby church. Police said when they found him, he smelled like alcohol and marijuana. The charges include DUI and damaging property, leaving a crash scene with damage to property and resisting a police officer with no violence.

Even though he is now facing drunk driving charges, the Florida man may find comfort in the fact that he is presumed innocent unless and until his guilt is proved beyond a reasonable doubt in court. It is unclear whether a breath test or blood draw was administered in order to determine his blood alcohol content, and that may be a focal point of any defense efforts. In doing so, the man's defense counsel might identify legal issues that can be raised in court. Efforts may simultaneously be made to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecution, if one is available. In this way, the man will be in the best position to decide between accepting a plea deal or going to trial on the merits of the allegations.

Source: orlandosentinel.com, "Florida man claims dog was driving after DUI arrest", Adrienne Cutway, Oct. 12, 2015

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