Man (44), Drunk in Charge of Lawn Mower

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How a Perth, Australia man was pulled over for being drunk in charge of a ride-on lawnmower

In the UK, operating some ride-on lawn mowers come under Category K of a full driving licence. Lawnmowers designed for non-road use are exempt. Even so, you can still be caught drunk in charge of ride-on lawn mower.

With Christmas on its way, we expect to see (alongside the toy advertisements), anti-drinking and driving campaigns.  It is also worth noting that drink-driving rules also extend to agricultural vehicles.  Ride-on lawn mowers are no exception to this rule, as some people have found to their cost.  Take for example the experience of a 44-year-old Perth, Western Australia man who was caught drunk in charge of a ride-on lawnmower.

After drinking super strength lager at 6am, he was stopped by police in the Perth suburb of Beechboro.  The fellow, caught drunk in charge of the mower, was on his way to a go kart track.  The lawnmower, he said, was going to be used for cutting the grass track.  Police said it was unsuitable for road use.

His breath test readings were 0.142 – almost twice the legal Blood Alcohol Content reading for Western Australia.  The legal limit is 0.8 BAC – exactly the same as in England and Wales. This video clip shows his arrest.

Not only in Australia…

Closer to home – well, in our county, would you believe.  This time, Fulwood, on the outskirts of Preston, where a 27-year-old male was caught drunk in charge of his granddad’s petrol ride-on lawnmower.  James Swinburne was spotted by police on the 01 February 2016 (at 4am) driving his granddad’s lawn mower.  It was intended by Mr. Swinburne as a bit of fun.

On being spotted by two officers, he was given a breath test.  His readings were three times over the legal limit, after having “a few vodkas”.  In spite of not having access to a car, he was banned from driving a motor vehicle for 12 months.

After his trial in April 2016 at Preston Magistrates Court, he was ordered to pay an £88 fine.  On top of that, a £20 victim surcharge and £40 in court costs.

Redblade Mowers, 04 November 2016.