A North Dakota man was arrested for driving under the influence on Sunday after authorities spotted him driving erratically on a lawnmower.
According to police documents, Earl Lee Jahner was operating the gas-powered lawn mower with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.27, more than three times the legal limit.
But Jahner’s troubles don’t stop there. According to authorities, Jahner was giving children a ride on the lawnmower with a six-pack of beer in tow when he was arrested. Police allege that Jahner damaged a corner of a building during his drunken joyride, and he was found to be in possession of marijuana. He was eventually charged with:
- Felony driving under the influence
- Driving with a suspended license
- Possession of marijuana.
Not surprisingly, this wasn’t the first time Jahner had been booked for driving under the influence. A quick criminal history search reveals that he’s been convicted of DUI on nine previous occasions.
Minnesota Lawnmower Laws
Jahner would likely face a similar charge if the incident occurred in Minnesota. We’ve all heard stories of people getting DUIs on a John Deere because they needed to get somewhere and thought they could avoid a DUI as long as they didn’t drive a car, but DUI isn’t specific to cars. It can apply to any motor vehicle.
That said, the law is still open to interpretation. Not too long ago a Minnesota man had a DUI charge thrown out after he was arrested for being drunk while on a Segway. The court ruled that since the device was battery-powered and its primary use is on pedestrian paths or sidewalks that it could not be classified as a vehicle subject to DUI laws. One can argue that a lawnmower isn’t primarily used on the road, but many arrested for DUIs on lawnmowers are driving on or near a road, and the device has as engine, so your appeal will likely fall on deaf ears.
Related source: Pioneer Press