'My dog was driving’: DUI suspect tells cops during arrest

Daily Buzz
(Photo: Manatee County Sheriff)

A Florida man provided a real humdinger of an excuse for his wildly erratic driving: his dog was behind the wheel.

It began late Wednesday evening, reports ABC Action News Tampa Bay, when a local deputy spotted a white car ripping at high speeds through a residential neighbourhood in Manatee County. 

Instead of pulling over when requested, the driver, later discovered to be one Reliford Cooper, put the pedal to the metal and ripped off down the street. It would seem his driving skills were not at their sharpest on this particular evening, as he promptly drove into a ditch, then through another ditch and finally directly into a neighbourhood home.

But the poor decision-making of Mr. Cooper did not stop there, for instead of stoically admitting defeat and giving himself up to authorities, he instead bolted from the vehicle, and ran down the street into a church — but not before inexplicably taking off his T-shirt and leaving it on the street outside.

It didn’t take long for the pastor to come out and notify the pursuing deputy that there was a man (apparently shirtless) hiding in the church bathroom. Church-goers reportedly forced Cooper out, where he was subsequently apprehended.

But Cooper was not going down without a fight. As the deputy put him in cuffs, Cooper began shouting, yelling out, “I wasn’t driving the car!” And “Who was chasing me? You’re slow as f***!” Officers say they could smell alcohol and marijuana.

Then Cooper dropped the final bombshell, providing what he must have believed to be a perfectly reasonable explanation for the evening’s shenanigans:

“My dog was driving the car.”

Cooper went on to add, “I ran because I wanted to do. You ain’t gonna find no drugs or guns on me.” Then he started vomiting. He was later taken to jail.

Surprisingly, this is not the first time that a drunken drivers have used the old “my dog was driving” excuse. A man in Georgia has made the claim, and a woman in California told officers her dog should be arrested for an accident she had caused. 

None of the dogs involved were charged.