View Full Version : DWI on lawn mower a felony

03-29-2002, 01:27 PM
Not that I do this, but here is a nice article to read.........
I think this guy was mowing for beer........lol

DWI on lawn mower a felony

March 29, 2002

By Jon Hand
Staff writer

Michael P. Kocur has likely learned an important lesson from his most recent criminal conviction: Friends don't let friends drink and "mow."

The Port Byron man pleaded guilty Thursday in Cayuga County Court to felony driving while intoxicated and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.

The motor vehicle was Kocur's red riding lawn mower and attached wagon, which he was driving July 1 on Centerport Road in Mentz.

Kocur, 39, told Judge Peter E. Corning that he was driving the mower, a friend was riding in the wagon, and the pair was picking up trash along the side of the road.

"Which goes to prove ...," the judge told Kocur, "... that no good deed goes unpunished."

Cayuga County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Lupo ordered the mower to the side of the road and eventually arrested Kocur for what would become his fifth driving-while-intoxicated conviction.

When Corning asked Kocur if he had a drivers license when he was arrested, Kocur said: "I didn't think I needed one to ride a riding lawn mower."

He is scheduled to be sentenced May 9.

© 2002 The Post-Standard. Used with permission.

03-29-2002, 01:40 PM
u know how people always say "here comes the police car" well i think they need police tractors!!!!! a nice craftsman with a lightbar and siren :D :p

03-29-2002, 06:19 PM
Actually a Craftsman tractor would be too slow, have to get like a Dixie Chopper or some souped up lawn mower for those high speed chases across the lawns :D

03-29-2002, 06:21 PM
true a dixie with strobes sounds like a good one for me

03-29-2002, 06:39 PM
I can't believe we have criminals like this running loose in this country.

What about violation of seat belt laws? Slow moving vehicle warning sign? Lights? Horn? Impeding the flow of traffic? Public intoxication? Reckless endangerment of life?

Where does this guy think he lives? In the land of the free? I think not.

03-29-2002, 06:48 PM
When my wife and I were up in Orlando recently we saw a guy (at night) riding a lawn tractor up and down the road. I have to say that was a first for me. I don't know if he was intoxicated or not, my guess would be... yea, probally. LOL

mdb landscaping
03-29-2002, 07:14 PM
i wonder if he got grounds maintenence duty on the chain gang as his probation?:D

03-29-2002, 07:44 PM
We have a couple of older guys in the local Town who drive lawn mowers. All decked out in chrome hub caps, fake chrome pipes, flames etc. I would really like to take some pics but haven't had the nerve yet. And yes they have multiple DUI's and drug charges against them. The local police know them and for the most part they are harmless. The one guy actually uses his mower to cut the local restaurant in return for meals.

Got Grass?
03-29-2002, 08:37 PM
Hmm.... If thay call a riding lawn mower a motor vehicle. Then dosnt that mean we all have to register, get plates, inspected, and have insurance on them? Hmm... Where did my title go.... Would I be breaking the law by driving on lawns that are marked no vehicles past this point?

This could start a whole bunch of poop...

03-29-2002, 09:20 PM
I was once told by an officer that if it has a motor and its on the street- it needs a licence and you could get every offence that applies (seatbelts, no lights, ect) if they felt like it!:rolleyes:

03-29-2002, 10:42 PM
Mathew, in NY, this is not so, farm vehicles are exempt from registration and the assorted requirements you list. I've got a feeling that officer was on a power trip.:D

Any powered vehicle, gas, electric or otherwise is however, considered a motor vehicle and operators are subject to all moving violations, including DWI.

03-29-2002, 11:19 PM
The only reason this DWI is a felony is because its at least his third. You do not have to have a drivers license to drive a mower(even in the middle of the road), at least in TX. But, you cant drive it on any public road(the ditch is considered the highway). Yall poke fun at this story but until you have a family driving down the road and swerve to miss a drunk on a mower and all people are killed in the vehicle, then it becomes very real to you and you will then see the problem that we face. I have DWI'ed people on 4-wheelers, mowers, golf carts, and JD gators. I have seen personally to many 2,3, and 4 year olds killed because of this problem. I have no tolerance for it and I dont care what "vehicle" they are driving. If this makes me a cop on a power trip then Ive been on one for over 4 years.

03-29-2002, 11:49 PM
Curry, you misunderstood my post.

I'm a Volunteer firefighter, we also provide ambulance service. I've seen the same carnage you describe involving DWI and am in ageement.

I referred to Mathew's post, can you picture yourself ticketing a farmer on his tractor for no seat belts or turn signals? He's in the farm belt, so the cop in question should be aware of agricultural exemptions. I'm sure you've run in to a cop or two who throws the weight of the badge around, I was also a trucker and have seen my share.

Anyway, I appreciate the service you provide your community. I sometimes wonder why anyone would choose that profession with the lack of support from politicians and the media.

03-30-2002, 01:19 AM
I believe in NY State 1 DWI is a felony.
In most cases if they have a lawyer here, they plead it down to driving with ability impaired, and that is a misdemeanor.
Anything after that is a felony. (agrivated DWI)
I know this, cause a personal friend has a problem with drinking and unfortunately driving at the same time.
Several DWI'S and only spent a few days in jail, but makes payments to his lawyer for a while......:( :(

03-30-2002, 02:00 AM
maybe he was on a murry . i would have to be drunk to drive one

tim cooper
03-30-2002, 01:14 PM
How abouta grasshopper 28 hp diesel witha trailer for the k-9 drug dog? u never know may be trafficin drugs

03-30-2002, 11:20 PM
Originally posted by curry
...but until you have a family driving down the road and swerve to miss a drunk on a mower and all people are killed in the vehicle, then it becomes very real to you and you will then see the problem that we face. I have DWI'ed people on 4-wheelers, mowers, golf carts, and JD gators. I have seen personally to many 2,3, and 4 year olds killed because of this problem. I have no tolerance for it and I dont care what "vehicle" they are driving. If this makes me a cop on a power trip then Ive been on one for over 4 years.

curry, sounds like you have a chip on your shoulder. You need to lighten up. It's kind of scary to think your running around on your "power trip" and carrying a gun.

Question: Don't drivers in your state have to drive with their vehicles under control at all times? Is it different to swerve for a dog or child or someone on a bike? Do you go to golf courses to arrest golfers drinking and driving or is that a form of transportation there?

Remember, you are to protect and serve the public. Not to raise revenue for the politicians.

03-31-2002, 11:25 AM
You are right. I do have a chip on my shoulder. You would to if you saw first hand the killin that these drunks do. There is a big difference between swerving to miss an animal and swerving to miss a drunk because he doesnt know better than to drive down the middle of the highway. Golfers on a golf course is private property. You can drink and drive on private property. If you read the law it states "Operate a motor vehicle on a PUBLIC ROAD while intoxicated" By the way, I am a State Trooper. We get no revenue from our "tickets", so I dont care about local politicians. I do ,however, care about you and your familys life.

03-31-2002, 02:43 PM
Looking back over the years, all the accidents or near accidents I was personally involved in was either caused by drunks, women or inexperienced teenagers. (In fact, in some states, they used to make women drivers have a red flag on their car to let other drivers know it was a woman driving.) Do you have the same animosity towards these other groups as you do towards drunks? I don't think it is healthy for you to feel you need to target this one group over another. It just sounds like you have a personal vendetta against one group of people. I'm sure people would feel better knowing their police force was enforcing all laws equally, without singling out one group over another because of personal feelings. Remember the intent of the law is to protect citizens, not the letter of the law, which would have you arresting a golf cart driver for DWI because the law says you can. Otherwise, every adult is this country could be found guilty of breaking one law or another.

FYI I don't drink and also, I still suffer the ill-effects of a broken neck, being run over by a drunk on my motorcycle. My concern is the line between serving and protecting the people versus controlling the people, with force if necessary.

Another question: Where do the fines from tickets go?

I want you to know I respect your decision to join the police and my deep appreciation goes out to all members of our law enforcement. I can't believe the sacrifice and risk some of you take for such little monetary reward.

Just remember, we're all on the same team here.

03-31-2002, 03:30 PM
Here in Minnesota I was told by an officer they can and do arrest for DWI anywhere in the state,
Public or private. The question came up because someone was drinking and driving a golf cart on my private property…Maybe he was just on a power trip, I don't know. If he wasn't than mowing your own yard while under the influence could be a problem.

I do know for a fact that you can get a DWI on ANY public property ( not just a road as in your state )while driving ANY motorized vehicle, Such as a snowmobile on a frozen lake.


03-31-2002, 08:48 PM
It is true that we can arrest anywhere in the state as long as it is in a public place. My earlier post I did say road but thats normaly where they are. A golf course is not a public place as defined by state law. Even though the public has access to it.
You say I am singling out a certain group like I am a racist singling out all of one certain nationality. I am singaling out ALL drunks. You ask if I have animosity towards teens or female drivers??? The difference is that females and teens are not breaking the law knowingly and willingly like drunks. You say its unhealthy to target "one group over another". That makes no since at all. The unhealthy thing to do is to not target them at all. In Texas we have a program funded by the Feds to only get drunks on weekends. I guess the Feds are "targeting" a certain group as well. I hardly think arresting someone who poses a risk to the motoring public as controlling. It is, however, serving the public. And yes with force if necessary. That is part of my job. All State fines go to local Countys. The State doesnt care about the fines, so therefore I have no pressure to make a "quota". I can only say what Texas law is. Different State may be different. Texas has a very bad problem with drunks(I think we rank 2nd last in the Nation in number of fatalitys involving drunks) We are very tough on drunks. If folks dont like our DWI laws they might not want to come to Texas because the State Police has a priority on drunks. Southpark, I do want to thank you for this debate. Maby if some folks read this they may think about there own decisions.

03-31-2002, 10:51 PM
curry, this whole thread is about some yahoo getting arrested for drinking and driving his lawnmower. I agree drinking and driving a high speed vehicle doesn't mix. My point is if you're arresting people for driving a mower to "protect" us, from certain death, then wouldn't it make sense to protect us from all dangerous drivers? I would like to know the numbers of traffic fatalities caused by people driving lawnmowers and drinking versus women or teen involvement in fatalities. My point with women and kids driving is they are a bigger risk to my well-being than a guy on a mower having a beer.

03-31-2002, 11:29 PM
I agree that it is my responsibility to protect against all dangerous drivers, but, women and teenagers do have a right to drive, drunks dont when they are intoxicated. I also agree that the numbers are much greater with teens having accidents. However, statistics show that the single "group" of people to have wrecks(fatalitys) are White/Males. I guess the system isnt perfect but its hard to say that all women and teens cant drive because some people think they are a danger to the rest of the motoring public even though they dont kill as many as W/M between 18-31. Go figure

tim cooper
04-01-2002, 12:16 AM
This is like beating a dead horse!!! How about we close this thread.

04-01-2002, 11:37 AM
curry, I understand women and teens can drive. I also agree drunks shouldn't be allowed to drive cars or trucks. What I'm trying to ask is what threat is a guy on the side of the road picking up trash and drinking a beer on his mower? That is what this thread is about. Show me the number of traffic fatalities caused by a drunk driver on a mower. You want to include them in all drunk driving statistics.

I'm not saying drunks should be allowed to drive. I want to know why a cop would arrest a man sitting on a lawnmower drinking a beer.

04-01-2002, 04:56 PM
tim cooper is right. We are beating this topic to death. This will be my last reply. The threat of a guy drinking while driving alongside the road picking up trash on a mower is that when he is drunk, he may take a left turn instead of a right and end up in the middle of the road with a car plowing him over. You say "drinking a beer" like hes only had one but if he was arrested for DWI then he drank more than one beer. Yes I am including him with all drunks because if hes stupid enough to drive a mower along the road drunk, then he should be included w/ those driving vehicles. As far as statistics are concerned he is driving a motor vehicle, therfore is included in w/ vehicles. I know what you are trying to say, that drunks on mowers arent as dangerous as drunks in vehicles but I disagree. Its just that there arent enough drunks to drive a mower so they drive vehicles instead. They are just as dangerous as every other drunk but there arent many driving mowers to make any statistic. I think I answered your last question. I will arrest a drunk on a mower before they make the statistic even higher.

Always Green
04-01-2002, 05:41 PM
You guys think it bad there, I don't excuse DWI but if convicted of DWI here in new jersey your driving privileges are revoked private property , public property, car,truck, lawnmover, any motor vehicel,any where, so I must fire any of my men who get a DWI or my insurance will not cover us.
I kept one guy on had him run my backhoe on a construction job,the local cops knew him, saw him and arrested him for operation a motor vehicel while suppended, this added a nother year to his suppention and $1,000.00 to his already high fines, now is he to support his wife and kids, I had to let him go.

04-01-2002, 09:06 PM
Originally posted by curry
You say "drinking a beer" like hes only had one but if he was arrested for DWI then he drank more than one beer. .......

They are just as dangerous as every other drunk but there arent many driving mowers to make any statistic.

Point one:
In some locales it's illegal to have an open alcoholic container in the vehicle. Some places they're taxing you, I mean fine you, if you have an open beer on your boat.

Point two:
You're whole argument is based on a gratuitous assertion that if the guy on the mower were left alone he could somehow totally decimate the human population but you have no statistical data to back this up with. I think most people on here thought it was ridiculous. That's why this article was posted in the first place. I guess you could use the argument that you don't write the law, you only enforce them. I just pray you do it with a little compassion in dealing with each situation individually.

04-01-2002, 10:11 PM
I couldnt resist to reply one last time. It is very obvious that we both agree that drunks should not be driving. We are also in agreement that drunks are a problem in our society. Where we differ is in the fact that you dont think a drunk on a mower riding alongside the road posses a substantal threat to the motoring public. Your point one does not apply to this situation because he was not arrested for open container. He was arrested for DWI. Therefore he was intoxicated. Point two: I dont see how you got that my whole arguement was based on if left alone, drunks on mowers would wipe out the human race. Dont change things to make it appear that Im saying something else. If I stop one person from being killed on the road then Im very happy. Because thats someones dad, son, husband... You dont need statistics, but good old common sense to determine that someone drunk, driving a mower alongside the road is a danger to the public. True, people intoxicated on mowers are responsible for very, very few deaths. Do you not agree that if one person is killed because of this thats one to many? I will reinterate, I will arrest ALL drunks. That is the attitude of most(I can only speak for the ones I know) cops in TX. If I am wrong to have that attitude then thats ok. I rest peacefully at night knowing I have ZERO tolerance towards DWIs. What they are driving is not an issue. As long as its a motor vehicle. There is no compassion for DWIs running through my blood. There should be no situation that I should take into consideration if an idiot is driving his mower picking up trash drunk. He is not trying to rush an injured child to the hospital.
Parkwest, if you want to debate this issue further, then send me a private email. We seem to be the only ones wanting to debate this and I dont want to keep this thread at the top because I know folks are getting tired of seeing it. I will be happy to debate further but lets respect the others on this site and kill this thread.

04-01-2002, 10:33 PM
Originally posted by curry
Do you not agree that if one person is killed because of this thats one to many?

That was the point I was trying to make using women and teens driving. If it would save one life... Where do you draw the line? You don't want to try to control every possible situation where there is risk involved. I've heard people suggest children should wear helmets while taking baths to prevent accidental deaths. When is enough to much?

My last question: If the guy wasn't hurting anything at the time of the arrest why bother him at all?

04-01-2002, 10:43 PM
Parkwest stated
My last question: If the guy wasn't hurting anything at the time of the arrest why bother him at all?

What about the guy that ran into the vehicle that killed the two little girls that I worked a couple of months ago! He wasnt hurting anything or anyone prior to the accident!!!!!!
Point Taken?

LJ lawn
04-01-2002, 10:46 PM
ALYAYS GREEN- you mean they arrested your worker while he was on private property running the backhoe to do what? was he driving it on the road? digging ?.sounds like harrassment.that type of twisted terminology sounds like you can get a DWI while out playing with a remote controlled little toy truck and drinking a beer because it has a motor. oops ,let me corrcet myself:MOTORS ARE ELECTRIC. ENGINES BURN FUEL. CURRY -how come if you have a good job with law enforcement you're hangin' out on LAWNSITE?just wonderin'

04-01-2002, 10:53 PM
LJ Lawn
Mowing is my passion. Im to chicken to take the plung full time. Its hard to give up a steady paycheck with great benefits. I only have about 30 accounts. I live to mow.

04-01-2002, 11:03 PM
Originally posted by curry
What about the guy that ran into the vehicle that killed the two little girls that I worked a couple of months ago!

You know I'm almost 50 y.o. and this is the first time I've ever heard of a guy running his lawnmower into a vehicle and killing anyone. Sorry to hear about it.

04-01-2002, 11:10 PM
Mom always said that sometimes you just have to give up. I give up.

Always Green
04-02-2002, 02:07 PM
You live in NJ too, ask the DMV, they"ll tell ya if you are suppended you can't operate any motor vehicel anywhere except your own private property, so ridding a mover or tractor on a job,would be a violation. And I must say my man was a good equiptment operator so I over looked what he did on his time, he was a bit of trouble maker, got into fights with wife,wised off to the cops,so they got even.

LJ lawn
04-02-2002, 05:36 PM
i can see there can be a misrepresentation on what constitutes a "motor vehicle".if they consider my walker mower a motor vehicle why don't they make me inspect,plate,register and insure it?this state is always cryin' about losing money all the time i think i'll write a letter to the new gov. and see what he thinks.lots of potential income out there to be made.think of the possibilities,they'll need even more police to check all the LCO'S if ALL their equip is up on all the paperwork,new jobs will be created.it might just get rid of the scrub population too.yahooo!