A Mixed Week for Non-Automotive DUI Cases
Man with Revoked License takes Lawnmower for a Beer Run
By: Gerri Elder
According to the Belleville News-Democrat, a Belleville,
Ill. man has been charged with a DUI. The charge is ordinary, but the mode of transportation involved in the
case is not.
Authorities in southwestern
Illinois say 49-year-old Dennis Cretton drove his yellow 2007 Cub Cadet riding
lawnmower up to a gas station. He
appeared intoxicated, and purchased more beer at the gas station. Neighbors called police, who have responded
several times previously to reports that Cretton was driving his lawnmower
while intoxicated but had been unable to observe the alleged behavior in
In this case, neighbors
reported that Cretton was attempting to pass cars traveling through his
Cretton's driver's license had been revoked after a previous
DUI conviction, and he may have assumed that police had no interest in the
operation of riding lawnmowers under the influence. That was not the case, and as police deputies
attempted to stop Cretton, using their sirens and emergency lights to signal
him off the road. The runaway lawnmower
veered into Cretton's lawn and tipped over.
When the mowing blades finally stopped, Cretton was arrested
and charged with felony driving under the influence. He made his $10,000 bail and is awaiting a
RUI: Riding Under the Influence
In Georgia, Mark Millican of the Dalton Daily Citizen
reports the conclusion to an equally notable case. In April, Gregory Scott Cooley and Jeffery
Ray Owen were arrested for riding horses while intoxicated. A Whitfield County grand jury has "no-billed"
the case, meaning it will not move further through the court system.
At the time of the incident, both men were found to have
twice the legal limit of alcohol in their system as they rode horses near
Owen’s property, according to police involved in the case. The Whitfield County District Attorney,
Kermit McManus, said that the case boiled down to a "legal distinction" between
a vehicle and a horse.
"It was no-billed because it’s not illegal to be intoxicated
on a horse," McManus said. "The legal
distinction is that the charge of DUI is defined as operating a vehicle. Basically, to be in violation of the driving
under the influence statute you have to be in a vehicle. A vehicle is defined as a 'device,' not a
horse. A horse does not fit the
definition of a vehicle."
Chief of Police Roy Brunson defended the actions of his
"The way we look at it, they put themselves in danger, they
put other people in the roadway in danger, and the horses, too," Brunson
said. "If they get that horse in front
of a car, we've got a serious situation."
News-Democrat and Dalton