You’re probably familiar with the saying, “you can’t drink and drive.” But what about driving a lawnmower while drunk? Can you get in trouble for that? It turns out the answer is yes – you can get a DUI for operating a lawnmower while intoxicated.
You can get a DUI for driving a lawnmower on public property while under the influence. It is also illegal to operate a lawnmower on private property while intoxicated.
If you are caught doing either of these things, you could face severe consequences. Depending on your state, the penalties for driving a lawnmower drunk can range from a fine and probation to jail time.
Can You Drive a Lawn Mower Drunk?
In some states, like Florida, DUI laws apply to any vehicle, including lawnmowers. So if you’re caught driving a lawnmower while under the influence in Florida, you could be facing the same penalties as someone who is caught driving a car drunk.
The lawnmower is considered a motorized vehicle, so the rules of DUI apply to it. So, if you’re caught drunk while driving your lawnmower, you’ll receive DUI, and you’ll have to get legal help to resolve this issue.
Even if you’re not driving erratically, which can be dangerous if you’re using a lawnmower, you can still get pulled over. If your BAC is 0.08% or higher, you’ll get a DUI even if you were driving properly.
According to the law, driving a motorized vehicle is prohibited when intoxicated, and this applies to motorcycles, cars, and any other motor vehicle, including a lawnmower.
The law is worded in this particular way to give officers the authority to arrest intoxicated drivers, regardless of the vehicle they’re driving, as they’ll be subjecting themselves and others to danger.
Is it Illegal to Drive a Lawn Mower Drunk On Your Property?
According to law, driving or operating a lawnmower while you’re drunk is illegal, whether you’re on your property or on the main road.
You can get a DUI, DWI, OUI, or OWI when you’re drunk. Even if you’re not moving your lawnmower, you can still be charged with an offense because you’re operating it under the influence. This also applies to prescription and non-prescription drugs that impair your driving and affect your responses.
However, as long as you’re on your property. There’s a slim chance you might have to deal with the police. If you’re mowing your lawn, minding your own business, and having a beer, it’s doubtful that law enforcement officers will stop you or charge you with a DUI. You’ll not be charged with any offenses as long as you haven’t left your property.
Nevertheless, this might happen if one of the neighbors reports you because you’re damaging public or shared property.
It can also happen if you’re mowing the lawn for someone and they notice that you’re not sober. Then, if you decide to cross the road to mow the house’s lawn right in front of your property, you can be charged with a DUI.
It’s also worth mentioning that driving and using a lawnmower while intoxicated puts your safety at risk. When you’re drunk, you become emotionally unstable and might make erratic decisions. Being intoxicated also leads to slower reactions and loss of coordination.
You might crash into the shed, damage your or your neighbor’s car in the driveway, and even hurt a child or a pet. This is why it’s strongly advised not to drink and drive, even if you’re using the lawnmower on your property.
What Will Happen If I Get a DUI for Driving a Lawn Mower Drunk?
If you’re caught driving under the influence, you need to act promptly and appropriately to make sure that this situation doesn’t escalate.
In most cases, first charges of DUI or DWI are tame with a maximum fine of $1000 and a 90-day jail time, but even a first-time offense can be considered a gross misdemeanor if your BAC was above 0.16%.
Here’s what to do if you’re pulled over when you’re drunk and driving your lawnmower.
- Cooperate with the police officer who stopped you. Fighting with them will only get you into more trouble.
- You’ll be asked to take a field sobriety test, which is made of three separate tests and is considered evidence in court.
First, the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus is a test of involuntary eye movements.
You’ll have to focus on a pen or a flashlight that the office will move from one side to another to see if your eyes jerk excessively or don’t focus on the object.
The second test is the walk-and-turn test. In this test, the officer will ask you to follow a straight line and walk nine steps, with your toe touching your heel, and then turn on one foot and go back.
If you’re unable to touch heel to toe, lose balance while walking or turning, use arms for balance, or stop while walking to regain balance, the officer will conduct the third test and probably ask you to have a blood test.
In the third test, the officer will ask you to lift your foot about six inches off the ground and count.
If you can’t maintain balance or keep on swaying, you’ll fail this test. However, several medical conditions can cause a sober person to fail any of these tests, so you should notify your officer of them.
- Leave your vehicle to ride the patrol car because you’ll be taken to the police station. The police will ask a towing company to tow your car and give you the needed information to retrieve it, and you’ll be asked to pay the towing costs.
- During your time at the police station, you should be as cooperative as possible. This time depends on your age, location of your DUI, criminal record, and how intoxicated you are.
The police offer will take your fingerprints, and you might be confined for several hours. Then, if you’re to be released on bond, you’ll have to call someone to pay and transfer you from the police station. You can also contact an attorney to make sure that nothing goes wrong.
- You can either be your own attorney, hire one, or have someone hired by the court when you’re taken to court. You’ll be asked several questions, and you should answer them truthfully to receive your sentence.
- In most cases, you’ll be asked to pay a fine and complete community service. Make sure that you pay your fine and complete your community service hours as soon as possible to have this information delivered to the court and have your issue resolved.
What Happens After I Get a DUI For Driving a Lawn Mower Drunk?
Getting DUIs is a serious legal problem, especially if you don’t learn from your mistake. In some states, if you get more than four DUIS within ten years, it’ll be considered a felony, which means that you’ll be facing more serious punishments.
The law also states that if your first 2 DUIs are within 84 months of your third one, your license will be revoked for a year. This means that you won’t be able to drive your vehicle even if you have paid the fine and served time.
You don’t actually need a license to drive a lawnmower on your property. But you might lose your driving license for driving a lawnmower when you’re drunk.
When drunk, operating a lawnmower is illegal and unsafe because drinking affects your judgment. If you decide to use the lawnmower on your property after having a few drinks, you can still cause some accidents even if a law officer won’t stop you.