[Editor's Note: the lounger turns out not to have been a La-Z-Boy brand lounger.]
Providing yet another illustration of the fact that operating just about any type of motorized vehicle while intoxicated counts as driving under the influence, a Minnesota man recently pleaded guilty to DUI by motorized armchair.
First of all, details on the crime. The Deluth News Tribune reports that back in August of 2008, Dennis LeRoy Anderson was driving home in his motorized lounger from the Keyboard Lounge in Proctor, Minnesota when he was blindsided by a parked car. Actually, according to the News Tribune, Anderson claimed he was driving just fine until a woman hopped on, causing him to crash into the parked car.
Anderson's admission to having downed 8 or 9 beers was confirmed by the fact that he blew a reported 0.29 blood alcohol level (more than three times Minnesota's legal limit).
In Minnesota, "motor vehicle" means "every vehicle that is self-propelled and every vehicle that is propelled by electric power obtained from overhead trolley wires." It does not include vehicles that move solely by human power, but would include anything powered by an engine -- be it a lawn mower, a recliner, a bar-stool or anything else.
Enough about the crime -- what about the lounger?
The moto-lounger features a multi-gear lawnmower engine, steering wheel, side view mirror, stereo, armrest headlights, cup holders and a National Hot Rod Association sticker. News reports offer no clarification as to whether it reclines.
And hold on -- this sweet ride could be yours for the right price. Reportedly, Anderson was forced to forfeit it to authorities, who will auction it off.
In many states, like Minnesota, certain types of DUIs can result in forfeiture of your vehicle. Under Minnesota law, you can lose your ride if you drive it while intoxicated and any two of the following are true:
- You had a prior DUI in the last 10 years;
- You registered a blood alcohol level over 0.2;
- You had a child in the vehicle; or
- You refused to take a breathalyzer test.
In Minnesota, a DUI can also result in forfeiture of your car if it's your third in 10 years, you have a prior felony DUI or you have been found guilty of vehicular homicide while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
A prior DUI and blowing a 0.29 appear to have cost Dennis LeRoy Anderson his La-Z-Boy-mobile.
- Man Gets DUI After Crashing Motorized Barstool: Can Any Vehicle Qualify for a DUI? (FindLaw's Blotter)
- Zamboni DUI (Smoking Gun, 2005)
- Drunken Man Drove Lawn Mower To Drive-Through (Fox Carolina)
- State DUI Laws (FindLaw)
- DUI Overview (provided by Larin & Leonard)
- DUI FAQ (provided by Law Offices of Basil D. Beck, III)