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It sounds funny, until someone is charged with a sixth DWI

A man in Fulton was arrested last month on suspicion of a DWI. Not that remarkable, since Missouri experiences almost 30,000 DWI arrests in a year, which works out to about 80 per day. This case warranted news coverage because the man arrested was driving a lawn mower.

According to the report, he was driving the lawn mower "recklessly" and when police stopped him, resisted his arrest, getting into a scuffle with the police officers. This was probably not a good idea, as it added to his charges of driving while intoxicated/chronic offender, tampering with physical evidence and assaulting a law officer. They also reported this was his sixth DWI.

While this story will likely make the rounds on the internet and late night news, any DWI arrest, whether your first or sixth is very serious. The story could have turned out tragic, as a lawn mower is not designed to be driven on public roads and lacks proper lighting or reflective surfaces. Had a car or truck came upon him and not seen him in time, he likely would have been severely injured or killed.

Penalties for multiple DWI convictions become progressively more severe. He will likely face another 10 years of license suspension, and could be fined up to $5,000 and he could be sentenced to 4 years in jail.

The report does not indicate the details of his prior DWIs, but multiple DWIs may suggest a substance abuse problem that could be better dealt with by a treatment program and not with jail.

No matter how any criminal charge involving drugs or alcohol and a motor vehicle occurs, no DWI is a joke.

Source: columbiatribune.com, "Man arrested on suspicion of DWI after driving lawnmower recklessly around Fulton," staff, March 29, 2016


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