8/4/2007Virginia: Lawnmower Rider Could Become $2750 Remedial Fee Victim
A man accused of lawnmower DUI could fall under the so-called abusive driver law and pay a minimum $2750 in fines and spend 20 days in jail.
A Waynesboro, Virginia handyman could declared a "dangerous driver" for the crime of riding a lawnmower after drinking a few beers. Glenn Bowers, 46, was arrested Wednesday while riding home with his dog after completing a lawn cutting job. Police stopped the Craftsman lawnmower, which has a top speed of 6 MPH, on Waynesboro Street. They subjected Bowers to sobriety tests with a breathalyzer machine ultimately claiming Bowers scored a .24 blood alcohol content (BAC) reading. If found guilty, Bowers would pay a mandatory minimum of $2750 in fines and spend 20 days in jail.
"I think it's a bunch of [expletive], if you want my opinion," he told the News Virginian newspaper.
On May 7, 2003, Bowers was accused and subsequently convicted of lawnmower DUI. The Waynesboro General District Court sentenced Bowers to 30 days in jail and fined him $551. His driver's license was not suspended, because Bowers does not have one.
That means Wednesday's lawnmower incident represents a second DUI with a BAC in excess of .20. For this charge, Virginia imposes a number of mandatory punishments, including a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 days in jail, a $500 mandatory minimum fine, and he must place an alcohol ignition interlock on his lawnmower (Virginia Code Section 18.2-270). Bowers would also be subject to a mandatory $2250 civil remedial fee (fee details) as a so-called abusive driver. A judge has the discretion to increase these penalties to a year in jail and $4750 in fines, but he may not reduce them.
Bowers already paid $65 for the release of his lawnmower from the police impound lot.