Everyone has their own idea of how to enjoy the leisure time of a Saturday evening. One Louisiana man's idea of a good time is not one that most people would consider. The police in Lafourche Parish also did not share the man's idea of a recreational outing. They say that they pulled the 59-year-old over while he was driving a lawnmower on the shoulder of LA 3162 just after midnight on May 22. They eventually arrested him for drunk driving.
The police allege administering a Breathalyzer test that showed a blood-alcohol level of .144 percent, which exceeds the maximum allowable percentage, thus allowing for a presumption of DWI. Deputies allege that they pulled over the lawnmower operator after observing him swerve into the westbound traffic lane and then swerve back to the shoulder. The authorities also allege that the suspect admitted to ingesting "several" beers before venturing on his idea of a joy ride.
The police report that this is the man's second DWI. They claim that they found an outstanding Contempt of Court warrant on him, but the details have not been reported. The speed of the lawn mower was also not reported. Its size, make, model, specifications and ownership also remain unknown in the published reports.
Although the drunk driving laws contemplate the operation of "motor vehicle," the suspect allegedly taking this moving machinery onto a public roadway would likely satisfy the Louisiana statute under these circumstances. However, defense counsel will examine the issue as a potential defense, along with determining whether the police followed all of the required constitutional procedures for stopping and testing the man for impairment. The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there was probable cause to make the stop and to conduct testing procedures. The prosecution must also prove each required element of the DWI law beyond a reasonable doubt.
Source: wbrz.com, "Louisiana man charged with DWI after late-night joyride on lawnmower", Raquel Derganz Baker, May 21, 2018