Late last month, a man from Garden City, Colorado was arrested for DUI while riding a lawnmower while bar hopping. The man assumedly thought he was outsmarting the police since his license was already suspended from a previous DUI offense, and he thought that by driving a lawnmower instead of car, he was not committing DUI. As he learned the hard way, a person does not have to be driving a car to be arrested for DUI. The list of mechanisms that a person can be charged with DUI for operating while under the influence of alcohol can be found in C.R.S. §42-4-1301(1)(a). Some vehicles that are included in the statute are scooters, bicycles, and even horses.
It is important to remember that to be convicted of a DUI, the state must prove that not only was the person inebriated, but that they were operating a vehicle. Operating a vehicle is defined as maintaining physical control of the vehicle. There is a long list of factors that courts look at when determining if a person is maintaining physical control over a vehicle including whether the keys are in the ignition, the vehicle is running, and if the person is in a position to operate the vehicle (sitting in the front seat).
Applying these factors to a lawnmower, or other non-car vehicle, would be an interesting criminal case, but since witnesses report the man driving down the street in the lawnmower, it is probably not his best defense.
If you have been charged with DUI for operating any type of vehicle, it is important that you consult an attorney as soon as possible. The attorneys at Peter Loyd Weber & Associates will work with you and your case to make sure that you receive the best representation. Call us today for a free consultation at (720)863-7755.