Less than one day before Jeff Hardy was accused of drunkenly driving his car through Florida highways ... the AEW star took a swig from a cup and made a joke that whiskey was "my best friend and my worst enemy."
The 44-year-old wrestler was filmed on Sunday evening making the comment -- some 12 hours or so before cops say he was driving a white Dodge Charger while severely intoxicated in Volusia County.
The video shows Hardy in Orlando for a wrestling convention (one in which his brother, Matt Hardy, also attended) ... singing for several people inside what appeared to be a conference room.
Jeff, discussing lyrics to a song, took a big sip of a drink, turned to the crowd and said, "Whiskey is my best friend and my worst enemy!"
The footage shows he then smiled, while people in the audience chuckled and shouted.
As we reported, Jeff was later arrested at around 9 AM on Monday morning by the Florida Highway Patrol for DUI.
During the stop, officers say he reeked of booze, could hardly stand during questioning, and admitted to drinking before getting behind the wheel. They added that two breathalyzer tests revealed he had a BAC of .291 and .294.
Hardy was charged with felony DUI and two other misdemeanors. He's due in court for a hearing on the matter in July.
The wrestler -- who was slated to compete in AEW event this week -- has since been suspended by the AEW without pay.