Police Nab Impaired Lawnmower Driver

August 14, 2017, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

As hard as it is to believe, it would appear that people aren’t getting the message about not drinking and driving their riding lawn mower. It seems to be a regular occurrence in Canada that people are charged driving farm and lawn equipment impaired. This last week, a Manitoba man was pulled over driving impaired at 2 a.m. in Headingley, Manitoba.  He told the officers that he was being responsible taking the lawn mower instead of his car to go get some cigarettes.

The police, and the law, don’t see it that way, and he was arrested and charged with impaired driving. The RCMP noted in the press release that operating any vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol is illegal. This incident comes only a few moths after a Winkler, Manitoba man was pulled over after being seen weaving down the street on his lawnmower with a child in his lap. In May a man was charged with impaired driving in Harrow, Ontario after his tractor was spotted travelling down the road erratically in downtown Harrow.

It is in fact illegal throughout Canada to operate motorized vehicles on public roads while impaired. This includes lawnmowers, snow machines, quads, tractors, and motorized bikes. In Ontario, you can operate the vehicles on your own property while impaired but in the case of an accident your insurance company may question the validity of your claim.

The MTO website states that

What is impaired driving?

Impaired driving means operating a vehicle (including cars, trucks, boats, snowmobiles and off-road vehicles) while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

It is a crime under the Criminal Code of Canada and the consequences are serious. You may:

  • lose your licence
  • have your vehicle impounded
  • need to pay an administrative monetary penalty
  • need to attend an education or treatment program
  • be fined upon conviction
  • be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle
  • spend time in jail
  • end up with a criminal record

Tips to avoid impaired driving

There are simple steps you can take to avoid driving while you're impaired by drugs or alcohol:

  • make sure you have a plan to get home safely
  • ask your doctor or pharmacist about side effects related to driving when using prescription medication
  • read the information on the package of any prescription drugs or over-the-counter medicine, including allergy and cold remedies
  • ask your doctor or pharmacist about how a prescription drug could affect you- drugs and alcohol together can impair your driving even more than either one alone

Image courtesy of the RCMP



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Deutschmann Law serves South-Western Ontario with offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford and Ayr. The law practice of Robert Deutschmann focuses almost exclusively in personal injury and disability insurance matters. For more information, please visit www.deutschmannlaw.com or call us toll-free at 1-866-414-4878.

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