Skip to main content

A guy's 9th DWI arrest came on a lawnmower

Cops say he was driving erratically on a street.

A southern Minnesota man with eight previous drunken driving convictions has been arrested again – this time while on a lawnmower. 

The criminal complaint filed against Thomas Grothe of Madison Lake, Minnesota, says an officer saw him driving his mower erratically on city streets last month. 

The complaint says Grothe, 60, had trouble with his balance, smelled of alcohol, and failed a field sobriety test before a portable breath test showed him with a .28 blood alcohol content. That's more than three times the legal limit to drive.

When asked for his driver's license, Grothe reportedly told the officer he had not had one since 1978. 

He's now charged with gross misdemeanors for operating a motor vehicle under the influence and for driving after his license was canceled. 

Authorities say Grothe's license was revoked because if he operated a motor vehicle on the highways it "...would be inimical to the public safety or welfare."

Grothe tells the Star Tribune he had just refilled the mower with gas and was returning to finish cutting the grass around a storage unit when he noticed the police officer following him. 

"When I stopped at the stop sign I got off to see what he wanted," Grothe told the paper. 

Is drunk lawnmower driving a crime?

Minnesota's Driving While Imparied law does not specifically mention lawnmowers. The law does say it's a crime to operate any motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol. 

Another section defines a motor vehicle as "every vehicle that is self propelled and every vehicle that is propelled by electric power...." 

Convictions on each of the three charges against Grothe could bring up to a year in prison and/or a $3,000 fine. 

Next Up

28987158675_df8dbfc6df_o

3 dead after plane crashes into house in Hermantown

Two people in the house were uninjured.

FeDh7pUWAAg3NMd

Destructive fire at Maple Grove greenhouse and nursery

The fire burned early Sunday morning at a longtime Maple Grove greenhouse and nursery.

st. cloud state university hockey

SCSU player hospitalized after being taken off ice on stretcher

Luedtke was checked into the boards in the first period and down for a reported 10-15 minutes.

Amber alert wisconsin

Amber Alert in Wisconsin: Search for missing 15-year-old girl

Police believe 15-year-old Kryssy King may be with a 22-year-old man.

Screen Shot 2022-10-01 at 10.18.12 AM

3 St. Paul fast food restaurants robbed in space of an hour

The thieves struck between 7:15 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Screen Shot 2022-10-01 at 9.06.40 AM

What to do with the Kmart site? Minneapolis wants your ideas

The project will connect Nicollet Avenue south of Lake street and north of the Midtown Greenway, reestablishing a street grid.

Screen Shot 2022-10-01 at 7.53.55 AM

Crowd evacuated at end of homecoming football game in Brooklyn Park

Police blamed 'unruly teens' in the stands and some who were trying to enter the stadium.

gas

State to help 44 Minnesota gas stations add E15 pumps

The yellow 88 button is coming to more gas stations in Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2022-09-30 at 4.54.42 PM

FBI, police investigating bank robbery at Edina's 50th and France

An ATM technician was robbed by four men at a U.S. Bank.

Ethan Glynn

Paralyzed Bloomington football player begins rehabilitation in Colorado

Ethan Glynn is at a world-renowned rehabilitation hospital.

Related

Daniel Thomas House

Man arrested for 19th DWI; he was going the wrong way on I-35

The man has 11 drunk driving arrests in Minnesota and eight in Wisconsin.

Man arrested for DWI in Twin Cities twice within 7 hours

He was arrested for driving drunk in Plymouth and Eden Prairie.

Boy's death could bring end to DWI snowmobile loophole

Currently a driving ban doesn't lead to a snowmobile ban.

Minnesota's new DWI law goes into effect August 1

"Little Alan's Law" is in memory of a child killed by a drunk snowmobiler.