Pensacola, Florida (PNJ) -- A 15-year-old was arrested Friday night and charged with drunken driving, but he was behind the wheel because his adult passenger was too drunk to drive, Santa Rosa County sheriff's investigators said.
The teen was pulled over on U.S. 90 in east Milton at about 7 p.m., after several motorists complained about an erratic driver. Deputies said the 15-year-old was drunk and belligerent but was behind the wheel because his adult relative, 47-year-old Christopher Stone, was too drunk to drive.
A blood-alcohol test later showed that the teenager, who does not have a driver's license, had a blood-alcohol content of .18 percent. A driver under 21 is considered drunk at .02 percent blood alcohol; at 21 and over, the threshold is .08 percent.
Stone told deputies that the teen only had a few beers.
Bruce Emond, a passenger in the car's back seat, told investigators that the three had gone swimming near Deaton Bridge. He said they all had a few beers at his house and saw the teen "sip off of a beer" while they were in the water.
At one point, Emond told deputies, Stone and the teen switched spots in the car, with the teen riding behind the wheel. When Emond asked, he was told to "shut ... up and ride with it," the arrest report says.
The teen refused to answer questions while at Santa Rosa County Jail, the report says.
Stone is charged with allowing an unauthorized minor to drive and cruelty toward a child. He was released from jail after posting a $3,000 bond. The 15-year-old was booked for DUI and driving without a license. He was released to his guardian, deputies said.