If you have a large lawn to maintain on a warm day, strapping a beer cooler to your riding lawnmower and heading out for the afternoon may seem like a relaxing approach to tedious work.
However, you could find yourself in hot water with your local law enforcement, even facing arrest and DUI charges.
All motorized vehicles are subject to DUI laws
Legally, the state classifies your riding lawnmower as a motor vehicle along with most other battery or engine-powered machines including but not limited to:
- Construction equipment
Under Minnesota law, operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration above 0.08 constitutes illegal driving under the influence.
Penalties for DUI in Minnesota
The consequences of a DUI depend on the severity of the offense as well as whether there is an established record of criminal behavior. Penalties may include fines, incarceration, treatment or monitoring as well as the revocation of your driver’s license.
Public safety laws can extend to private property
Many people think they can operate outside of the law on their own property without penalty. However, if your property is accessible to motorists via a driveway, or if your yard backs up to a public roadway, then you run the risk of a passerby reporting you to law enforcement. An officer could determine your unconventional mower maneuvers to be suspicious and subject you to a breath test.
If you are facing DUI charges for an infraction on your property, there are many nuances in the law that you can consider while building your defense.