FARMERSBURG, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — While the summer is well underway, many folks have settled into their routine of lawn mowing duties.
With most riding lawnmowers having cupholders, you may be tempted to have a drink with a little extra something while mowing.
But while one or two beers might leave you still fully in control of the mower, should you drink to an irresponsible level, in Indiana, you could be tempting a DUI charge.
According to Indiana State Police Sgt. Matt Ames, regardless if the vehicle is on private property or not, operating while intoxicated is still illegal.
“Yes, you can get a DUI while operating a lawn mower on your property,” Ames said. “Now, officers are not actively driving past residents’ houses and looking like ‘Oh that individual is consuming some alcohol while operating your lawn mower,’ we are not out here doing that. Now the other problem you may have, you might not have as straight of lines as you’d like to have in your lawn while mowing.”
Ames went on to explain that the law is put in place to protect the safety of residents, and operating a motor vehicle of any kind while under the influence increases the risk of personal injury or injury to others. As such if there is an accident with injury, or property damage to a neighbor’s property, or just a concerned driver who saw the mower operator seemed to be reckless while turning around in the road before heading back onto their property, that could trigger an investigation that could lead to a charge of DUI.
“A similar example would be if you were operating a motorboat on waterways. If you are operating a motor vehicle of transportation, you can be arrested if you are above the legal limit in the state of Indiana,” Ames said. “That extends to Golf Carts, UTVs, ATVs, anything that is a mode of transportation.”
Ames said it really comes down to making good decisions, and someone who is heavily under the influence is likely to make poor decisions.
“The Indiana State Police, our number one priority is making sure that we’re providing a safe atmosphere for all of our citizens out here,” Ames said. “If you choose to consume alcohol, make sure that you are doing it wisely, that you aren’t getting on any type of motor transportation where you can cause injury to yourself or anyone else, and make sure you don’t end up in the local county jail.”