A DUI arrest, in the public’s imagination, typically involves high speeds, reckless driving, and a dramatic confrontation with the police. And it almost certainly includes a car.
Not every DUI arrest, though, fits this mold. A recent spate of men being arrested for drunk driving while operating tractors shows that DUIs may occur in the strangest places.
The first noteworthy arrestee wasn’t even driving a large tractor. Last week, a man in western Pennsylvania faced charges of driving under the influence of alcohol and assaulting a police officer after he was arrested while riding his lawn tractor.
According to the Beaver County Times, 44-year-old Mark Grove was allegedly driving his lawn tractor down the middle of a road on a Thursday afternoon, which prompted a call from a neighbor to 911 concerning an “out of control man.”
When police arrived, Grove was carrying a coffee mug full of beer and he admitted to the police officers that he had been drinking.
After the police arrested Grove, he allegedly began kicking a police officer and head-butting the partition that separates residents of a squad car’s backseat from the officers in the front of the car.
To the disappointment of newspaper readers across Pennsylvania, Grove declined to comment on his arrest. Court records also show he has yet to choose to hire a DUI lawyer.
Grove can take some solace in the fact that his arrest wasn’t the only tractor-related DUI arrest in recent days.
Last week, police in Madison, Alabama, arrested 33-year-old Forrest Stewart for driving under the influence after the man was found driving a riding lawnmower through the downtown streets.
According to WHNT News, a police spokesman said driving any mechanical device under the influence of alcohol makes the driver eligible for a DUI arrest.
In the words of Madison Police Lieutenant John Stringer, “If you’ve been drinking to the point where you don’t think you need to be driving your car, you probably don’t need to be driving any vehicle.”
Finally, thenorthwestern.com recently reported that a man in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, also unlawfully used his lawn tractor while drinking alcohol.
According to sources, a 73-year-old man was spotted by his neighbors driving his lawn tractor around town on several occasions while allegedly enjoying adult beverages.
After the report, police spotted the man driving his tractor under the influence of alcohol in the early afternoon. It was the man’s fifth arrest for operating a motor vehicle while drunk.
The lesson, it seems, from these various anecdotes is that the combination of a motor and alcohol is bad, whatever the circumstances.
You may avoid the costs of a DUI by staying sober on the road, even if you’re in an unconventional vehicle.
Finding a parking spot at a popular store can be tricky. But the spot Kentucky resident Whitney Lochmueller left her SUV was definitely taken.
Lockmueller’s SUV landed in the women’s department of Kohl’s after her she collided with another vehicle, accelerated, hit a tree and went through the store’s front wall.
The driver was charged with DUI after police found her incoherent and confused at the scene, reports WKYT. Police found a bottle of the painkiller Tramadol in Lochmueller’s vehicle. Though the prescription was filled the day before already a significant number of pills were missing from the bottle, WKYT reports.
After finding her incoherent and confused at the scene, police later charged Lockmueller with DUI. Although she had no alcohol in her system, a DUI arrest may be made if the driver is under the influence of any substance.
She was also charged with criminal mischief and wanton endangerment.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information states that the Tramadol “may make you drowsy and may affect your coordination. Do not drive or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.” And that’s assuming she took the recommended dose.
Mrs. Lochmueller’s six-year-old twin sisters were in the SUV’s backseat. No one received major injuries in the crash, though the passengers of the Suburban were taken to the emergency room for some minor injuries.
Luckily, no one inside the store or out on the sidewalk was harmed. Shoppers lent a helping hand to the passengers of the out-of-place vehicle. Once all of the riders were removed, it became the store’s priority to remove the SUV from its impromptu showroom. That process took several hours of hard work by the local fire department.
The store reopened at 8 am the following day after a surprisingly quick clean up. Kohl’s issued a statement that they were very glad no one was hurt, and that they hoped to have the damage completely repaired in a week or so.
Hopefully from now on Ms. Lochmueller will attempt to find a spot that, while not perfect, is also on the outside of the store.
This week’s round-up of strange DUI tales features one man who seems to lack the sense to quit while he’s behind, cracking a fresh brew while trapped in his crashed car.
Another woman let the people testing her blood know that they would find a veritable cocktail of pharmaceuticals.
In Wellington, New Zealand, Paul Sneddon hadn’t merely crashed his car. He flipped his vehicle over after running into a wooden barrier along the highway. Already drunk, he found himself flipped around, trapped behind doors that were wedged shut in the crash.
What did he do to pass the time as police made their way to the scene? He cracked open another beer and had himself a drink.
Sneddon plead guilty to driving drunk recently, and his lawyer told the court that “he had nothing else to do at that point,” being trapped in the car, “so he had another beer.”
When the police finally arrived at the vehicle and helped Sneddon break out, his blood-alcohol content was measured at 1,191 micrograms, which is almost three times the 400 micrograms legal limit for driving.
Sneddon had gone on a bender after he was fired from his job at a bakery. When asked how much he’d had to drink, he told police that he’d been drinking for four days straight.
In Kingsport, Tennessee, a woman who had been charged with DUI decided to let the police and her blood testers know what they were going to find when they completed those tests.
Bobbie K. Cato said that the drug test would fine only a few drugs. At the scene of the crime she had claimed innocence from taking any drugs or alcohol, but at the hospital she admitted to taking an array of drugs, including Xanax, Lortab and Phenergan.
According to police, the over-sharing Cato was arrested when her car was found blocking a convenience store entrance. She was lying across the passenger seat, her legs dangling out of the car.
She posted bond and will be due back in court soon, where authorities will learn whether her predictions about her own drug test are accurate.
In the history of DUI arrests, all manner of property has been damaged, from cars and houses, to fast food restaurants and burger joints. Drunk drivers have been discovered driving Barbie cars, lawnmowers and even a motorized recliner.
The least advisable piece of property to damage, though, would seem to be that of the police, especially if you are driving drunk or impaired. Two suspects this week, however, seemed to have disregarded this simple idea, and these DUI stories out of Pennsylvania and Florida prove that nothing should be a surprise when it comes to drunk driving.
In Allentown, Pennsylvania, the Lebanon Daily News is reporting that Eric Verbin of the town of Bath was stopped by a police officer on a bicycle while he was driving his car.
Rather than submitting himself to the terms of the traffic stop, Verbin ran over the officer’s bicycle, then fled the police officer.
The chase did not last long, as Verbin soon crashed his car and the pursuit was over. It turned out that he allegedly had prescription medication in the car with him. Verbin was charged with DUI and fleeing the police in the traffic stop.
In Jacksonville, Florida, a man from Gainesville faces DUI charges after he allegedly smashed his car in a parking lot, according to a report from News 4 in Jacksonville. Adding to the man’s problems? The parking lot was for the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.
It was early on a Sunday morning when police say Michael Giermanski crashed into a sign in the parking lot of the sheriff’s office substation. Also damaged in the ill-advised accident was a palm tree and some shrubbery.
There was a Putnam County deputy in the parking lot at the time that Giermanski crashed onto the scene. That deputy saw the whole thing happen, and was able to provide medical assistance to the driver until the paramedics got to the scene.
Giermanski’s injuries are reportedly minor. He was charged with DUI with property damage, and careless driving.
When we say you can be arrested for drinking and driving in any motorized vehicle, we mean: You can be arrested for DUI while driving any motorized vehicle.
Don’t believe us? Try this story on:
The Scottish Daily Record is reporting that a man was arrested for drunk driving while operating a toy Barbie car.
Paul Hutton, a 40-year-old resident of Clacton-on-Sea in Essex, was tearing down the road in a child’s motorized Barbie car. He was going the vehicle’s top speed of 4 miles per hour when police stopped him along the road at night.
Police administered a breathalyzer test and booked Hutton for driving under the influence of alcohol. His blood-alcohol content was double the legal limit.
For his offense, Hutton was banned from driving a real car for three years. After the hearing where he learned of his fate, Hutton admitted that he was “a complete twit” for earning himself the driving ban.
“I was very surprised to get done for drink-driving,” he continued. “It is designed for three-to five-year-olds.”
Hutton had found the little pink electric car ten years previous, and had begun to customize it with his son only a few months ago, adding larger wheels to it. Still, he was candid that it was not the ideal vehicle for a full-sized adult.
“You have to be a contortionist to get in and then you can’t get out,” he said of the pint-sized pink ride. He had to drive it with his knees under his chin, and it moved more slowly than a mobility scooter, according to the article.
According to Hutton, he’d been drinking as he worked on the vehicle, and had not realized how much he’d had to drink.
“When it was done,” he said, “I couldn’t resist the temptation to take it out. I wanted to show my friend.”
Hutton had actually ignored a warning from the police. They told him not to drive the vehicle, but he went against their advice and drove it away from the scene, very slowly.
“I knew it was daft, but I didn’t realize it was a criminal thing to do,” he said.
His three year ban from driving was brought down because he had previously been convicted of DUI. Chairman of the bench in the case said “I’ve never seen the like of it in 15 years on the bench.”
In Oak Harbor, Wash., a small community off the coast of Washington on Whidbey Island, two bizarre incidents occurred on the same day, both allegedly involving driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The first accident involved a 22-year-old woman who was driving her Volkswagen Beetle on Midway Boulevard, a road that travels directly toward the coast of the island.
The woman drove her Beetle straight through an intersection without stopping and “careened down an embankment and ended up in the tidelands,” according to a report from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Luckily for the negligent driver, it was low tide at the time so she did not end up submerged and in possible danger for her life.
On her way into the tidelands, the Beetle crashed through a concrete bench. The bench was part of a memorial to volunteer firefighters. The car also damaged what city officials called a “lift station breather vent.”
According to Oak Harbor Police Chief Rick Wallace, the woman was arrested on suspicion of DUI. A tow truck was able to pull the car from the tidelands. The city will seek restitution for the damaged bench.
The Post-Intelligencer reported the second similar accident that occurred on the same day happened just after midnight on Sunday; a 20-year-old woman drove her car into a two-story apartment building.
“It appeared to be very minor damage,” said Chief Wallace. He did mention that it’s possible there was unseen structural damage to the property.
The driver of the car is a resident in the building that she ran into. She was arrested on suspicion of DUI and underage drinking.
Fortunately, nobody was injured in either of the incidents. When DUI is involved, the results can be far more tragic than those of this odd day of accidents in Oak Harbor.
When the news of DUI accidents is so often more severe than several strange veers off of the road, it can be nice to read about a bad situation that didn’t end up far worse.
Many weird circumstances can surround a DUI offense. One’s inhibitions are down and one thing leads to another.
In some instances, people break into establishments or end up stealing, not realizing their actions will be dealt with and there are consequences.
Take 29-year-old Timothy Peare, for example in Bethlehem, Pa. He attempted to steal a tow truck from Saucon Collision hoping to remove his vehicle from an impound.
His vehicle was taken there earlier in the evening. He never actually drove the tow truck off the property, but he had started the vehicle with the intent to help get his car back.
It appears he had a DUI arrest earlier that day and just wanted to get his vehicle.
Now he is faced with more than just a DUI charge. The police are charging Peare with a criminal attempt to steal a vehicle, theft from a vehicle and loitering/prowling at nighttime.
Another instance of a drunk driver , Claud Gipson- Reynolds, stole a fire truck in Sonoma County, Calif. after he got his car stuck in the mud.
He thought it would be a good idea to break into the fire house to at first call a tow truck. When he saw the fire truck the bright idea popped into his head to “borrow” the fire truck to help push his vehicle out of the mud.
But he also got the fire truck stuck in the mud about 20 feet away from his car. He then decided to call a tow truck from the fire truck radio’s engine, but instead of a tow truck coming to his rescue, the highway patrol rolled up to the scene.
Gipson-Reynolds was arrested and spent a night in the “drunk tank.” Later he stated this whole incident helped him to realize he had a drinking problem, and he will think twice before he gets into a car to drink and drive.
Many should think about the DUI penalties and aftermath of their decisions they may face if convicted of DUI.
Sources: The New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle