January 16, 2020
Wisconsinite Keith Shoeder already had three DWI convictions under his belt when he was caught driving drunk. This time, however, he was riding his lawn mower. On the street.
After he was charged with a fourth DWI, Shoeder’s attorney argued that the lawn mower should be considered an ATV, which would have resulted in a significantly less harsh sentence, though he conceded that it did not have a seat that you would straddle, which is one of the characteristics that the statute specifies an ATV should have.
In any event, the trial judge wasn’t buying the argument and, on review, neither did the appeals court, which concluded that “when Shoeder used the riding mower in the capacity he did—i.e., to travel from a tavern on a public roadway — and while he was intoxicated, it seems far from absurd to conclude the legislature would want such a dangerous use prohibited.”
Shoeder was sentenced to 120 days in jail and three years of probation. And since his arrest in the lawnmower incident, he has picked up several more citations, for disorderly conduct/motor vehicle, failing to report a boating accident, negligent boat operation and hit-and-run of an unattended vehicle.