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

Cops say he was driving erratically on a street.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

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Authorities say Grothe's license was revoked because if he operated a motor vehicle on the highways it "...would be inimical to the public safety or welfare."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

USPS packages

Two Ramsey County men sentenced in mail theft scheme

Sonny Vang Xiong was sentenced to three years in prison, while Davis Her was sentenced to six and a half years in prison.

Jeff Gladney

Jeff Gladney's ex-girlfriend files $1 million civil lawsuit

The civil lawsuit accuses Gladney of assaulting the woman for over two hours.

vaccine, covid

St. Paul care home group will mandate COVID vaccines for staff

It comes amid reports of COVID outbreaks at homes where residents are all vaccinated, but staff are not.

Jail handcuffs arrest

Starbuck man charged with uploading, sharing child pornography

The 47-year-old was arrested after a tip from the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children.

ambulance

Boy, 11, seriously injured after 'fall' that police now suspect was abuse

It was initially reported that the boy slipped and fell.

police lights

Investigation underway after body found during welfare check in Plato

The identity of the deceased has not yet been revealed.

Mayor Brad Wiersum

'Please, please, please get vaccinated,' Minnetonka mayor pleads

This comes as the local state of emergency officially ends.

YouTube - Jeopardy screengrab minneapolis

Can you answer all the Minneapolis questions from this week's 'Jeopardy?'

KARE personalities including Randy Shaver and Rena Sarigianopoulos presented the clues.

Pexels - woman shop mask covid CROP

35 counties, including most of Twin Cities, now COVID hotspots

The CDC recommends everyone wear a mask in public, indoor places in these counties.

covid, coronavirus

CDC document: Delta variant as contagious as chickenpox

Vaccines remain very effective at preventing severe illness from the delta variant, however.

Flickr - smoke McGregor minnesota wildfire July 29 2021 - Lorie Shaull

'Unprecedented': The wildfire smoke isn't going anywhere this weekend

The air quality alert that was supposed to end Friday is now in effect into early next week.

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.