Some people think that as long as they aren’t driving a car, they are not subject to Minnesota’s drunk driving laws, but that’s just not the case. We’ve already covered DUIs on watercrafts and on snowmobiles, and we’ve also taken a look at how the state views drunken trips on a segway. Today, we’re going to look at how Minnesota views drunk driving on a lawnmower.
Under Minnesota law, it is illegal to drive a riding lawnmower if you are under the influence of alcohol above a 0.08 blood alcohol concentration. That’s because a riding lawn mower is classified as a vehicle under Minnesota law. In most cases, if it is not a self-propelled device (in other words, it is powered by an engine or battery), then it meets the state’s definition for a vehicle and is subjected to DUI laws.
Some objects that meet the definition of a vehicle and thus are subject to DUI laws in Minnesota include:
- All-Terrain Vehicles
- Riding Lawn Mowers
- Construction Equipment
Minnesota Man Earns Ninth DUI On Lawn Mower
The main reason we decided to do this blog today is because we were just alerted to a rather odd story of a local man earning his ninth driving under the influence charge after taking his riding law mower for a spin.
Thomas Edward Grothe, 60, of Madison Lake, has been charged with a DWI after he was stopped by police while driving his lawnmower on city streets back on July 20. Police asked him to submit to a breathalyzer test, and Grothe’s BAC came back as 0.28 on the first attempt and 0.27 on the second attempt, more than three times the legal limit.
Grothe was officially charged with gross misdemeanor DWI and gross misdemeanor driving after license cancellation. Each gross misdemeanor charge carries the potential of up to one year in jail and fines up to $3,000. Considering the fact that he has eight previous DWI-related convictions on his record, the judge isn’t likely to give Grothe a break.
If you want to mow your lawn after having a couple of beers, odds are you aren’t going to run into any trouble with the law. However, if you’re taking your lawnmower down city streets, you’re more than likely going to get phoned in or spotted by a cop. You may think you’re making the safe decision to drive a vehicle with a low maximum speed, but you’re still a danger to others, and that’s why riding lawn mowers are subjected to Minnesota’s DUI law.
If you’ve been arrested for DWI in a lawn mower or another vehicle, pick up the phone and call Appelman Law Firm today.