A Michigan man was convicted this week after he was caught driving his law mower with a blood alcohol content of more than three times the legal limit.
32-year-old Steven Bakeman, of Cassopolis, Michigan, was driving his lawn mower down a street when officers, who were responding to an assault complaint, stopped him. The officers stated that Bakeman was driving the lawn mower without lights on a darkened road.
Upon being stopped, Bakeman told officers that he was looking for his children to give them a ride home. He also told officers that he had consumed four 24-ounce “Natty Ice” beers and several shots of hard alcohol.
According to officers Bakeman failed field sobriety tests and it was later determined that his blood alcohol content was a 0.27 and 0.28 through two breathalyzer samples.
Bakeman took his case to trial where, after only ten minutes of deliberation, a jury found him guilty of driving under the influence. The conviction was Bakeman’s third DUI conviction. Like California, a lawn mower meets the Michigan definition of a motor vehicle and the judge reminded the jury of that prior to deliberation.
Unlike California, however, a third DUI conviction in Michigan is a felony that carries up to five years in prison. In California, a fourth DUI becomes a felony that can carry up to four years in prison.
“Mixing booze, a motor vehicle and a roadway is never a good idea. Cars, trucks, motorcycles, riding lawn mowers, golf carts, it doesn’t matter. Someone can get hurt or killed,” said Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz.
Bakeman is set to be sentenced on April 13th.