An OWI suspect accused of leading deputies on a high speed chase in Manatee County, Florida allegedly told authorities that his dog was the one behind the wheel. Deputies got in pursuit of Reliford Cooper III after catching him speeding. Cooper allegedly fled, ran a stop sign, drove through two ditches and eventually crashed into a house. He took off on foot and sought refuge in a nearby church, but churchgoers chased him off the premises. He was ultimately caught and while being handcuffed advised, “I wasn’t driving that car.” He then allegedly elaborated, “My dog was driving that car.” The deputy who arrested Cooper noted he smelled “the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage, as well as an odor of burnt marijuana.” No dog was actually spotted in Cooper’s vehicle.
Apparently, Cooper isn’t the first to pin suspicious driving on a canine — officers near Orlando, Florida, said a woman gave them that same excuse in August.
Believe it or not, the two Floridians may be on to something. In 2012, a New Zealand animal trainer taught three dogs how to drive using specially modified cars, and the results were pretty impressive. So much for putting the fur in chauffeur!