Beer Run Trouble: Georgia Man Arrested for Lawn Mower DUI

Posted by Richard Lawson | May 03, 2019 | 0 Comments

A Monroe County Sheriff's deputy pulled up behind a man driving a lawn mower around 12 p.m. on Thursday, May 2, 2019. The man was on a beer run, and would later be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol.

Deputy Jacob Justice was responding to a call related to a drunk driver. He pulled up behind the lawn mower at the intersection of Klopfer and Rivoli roads, just off of Interstate 75 and Interstate 475. He discovered a man wearing a gray T-shirt and blue jeans driving an orange riding lawn mower. He pulled the driver of the lawn mower to the side of the road.

As the law enforcement officer approached the driver, he immediately smelled the odor of alcohol. After talking to the driver, he learned his name was Lonnie Derrell Spoon.  Spoon stated that he had just driven to a nearby store and bought "several things." This included beer. Spoon also stated that he "drank one beer" about 9 a.m. that very morning.

Spoon refused to take a breath test and was arrested on suspicion of intoxication. A tow truck was called to take the lawn mower away.

Even a lawn mower is considered a "motor vehicle" for purposes of Georgia's DUI law. If you or someone you care about has been arrested for DUI in Georgia, an experienced Georgia DUI attorney can defend your case and protect your rights.

Definition of Motor Vehicle in Georgia

In Georgia, “'motor vehicle'” means every vehicle which is self-propelled other than an electric personal assistive mobility device (EPAMD)."  

“Vehicle” meansevery device in, upon, or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, excepting devices used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.

This means that the definition of a vehicle or motor vehicle for purposes of the Georgia DUI statute are extremely broad, and not limited to the types of vehicles you usually see on Georgia roadways.

Typical motor vehicle examples include:

  • sedans,
  • minivans,
  • pickup trucks,
  • semi trucks and tractor trailers,
  • motorcycles and mopeds, and
  • SUV's and crossover vehicles.

Less common examples include:

  • lawn mowers,
  • electric scooters,
  • segways,
  • motorized skateboards,
  • hoverboards,
  • bicycles,
  • electric or motorized bicycles,
  • all-terrain vehicles (ATV's),
  • go-carts, or
  • battery powered children's cars.

Does It Have to Have a Motor?

A vehicle does not have to have a motor or be powered to result in a DUI. Because the definition of a vehicle is so broad in Georgia, even the use of a purely person powered scooter could be considered a vehicle if it is used in that way.

This means that you could face the same potential penalties as a person who got behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated.

Consult an Experienced Georgia DUI Attorney

Just because you are charged with a crime, does not mean that you are guilty. No matter the vehicle you were in when you were arrested, an experienced Georgia DUI attorney can defend your case. Contact us today for a free consultation.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

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