Apparently one Wisconsin man likes to have a good time while keeping his lawn well manicured. An observant officer out for a ride noticed 69-year-old Charles Gray on his lawnmower weaving erratically down the street this past Sunday evening.
Jackson Police officer Kyle Henning was shocked at what he discovered stating he had never seen an intoxicated lawn mower driver on the roadways. Unfortunately for Mr. Gray, Officer Henning did spot him and radioed back to his precinct that he was going to have to pull over the driver of a lawnmower. What should’ve been a simple tasked proved anything but as Mr. Gray was evidently not eager to end his joyride.
Officer Henning repeatedly flashed his lights and even hit his siren several times, all in a futile attempt to get the man to pull over. Gray, not one to take a hint, kept going, waiving to the officer to go around him. The two ended up pulling off the road into a Walgreen’s parking lot where Gray then ran into trouble cutting off the lawnmower, inadvertently shifting the machine into drive instead of park and hitting a curb in the process.
Gray told the officer that he had only consumed one beer that day. Henning was skeptical to say the least and conducted a field sobriety test. A Breathalyzer conducted soon thereafter revealed that Gray had a blood alcohol level of .219, well in excess of Minnesota’s .08 legal limit.
Even as he was being arrested Gray remained puzzled, apparently unable to determine what he’d done wrong or why he’d been pulled over in the first place. The officer explained the litany of problems to Gray: operating a lawnmower on a roadway, driving while drunk, running a stoplight and, the cherry on top, driving on a license that had been suspended due to Gray’s three previous DUI arrests.
Though the story sounds amusing, Wisconsin police (like those in Minnesota) make no distinction between driving drunk on a lawnmower, a car, or, as we discussed last week, a boat. This means that Gray was in violation of his license suspension even though he was not operating a car, because he was still operating a motor vehicle. The latest incident will now appear on Gray’s record with state’s department of motor vehicles.
Minnesota law clearly defines what constitutes a motor vehicle. Generally, the distinction in determining whether something is a motor vehicle is whether it is “self propelled”. You may recall the Minnesota case of the man driving the motorized sofa chair we discussed in an earlier blog? There was also the earlier case of the Apple Valley Zamboni operator that was also charged with DWI.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a DWI – whether in a car or any other form of self-propelled motor vehicle, then contact a Minnesota DWI lawyer to defend your case. For a diligent defense, contact experienced Minneapolis based attorney Douglas T. Kans of Kans Law Firm, LLC.