A Queensland man has found out the hard way that you don’t need to be driving a vehicle or riding a motorbike to fail roadside alcohol testing.
According to ABC News, the 51-year-old was charged with drink driving after he failed alcohol testing while riding his ride-on-mower. He was driving the mower in the wrong direction down an Ingham Street when police apprehended him. His blood alcohol level was almost four times over the legal limit of 0.05.
When Queensland Police asked the man what he was doing, he replied that he was taking the ride-on to his daughter’s house to mow the lawn. Given that it was 1am in the morning, the story understandably raised eyebrows with the police officer, who quickly replied, “Not at 1’o’clock in the morning and not drunk.”
Queensland Police Senior Sergeant Robert Nalder said the man was lucky there was not a serious incident.
“If you’re drinking, please don’t get behind the wheel of any vehicle. This might seem like a funny incident, but the harsh reality is that if police hadn’t been there to intervene, we could have been dealing with a serious traffic crash.”
It’s not just vehicles and motorbikes
The Queensland incident highlights that it’s not just when driving a vehicle or riding a motorbike that alcohol testing – or drug testing – can catch you.
Riding a ride-on-mower anywhere apart from on your own property can leave you at risk of being charged with drink driving. As too can riding a scooter, as many people have found out since electric scooters have become popular.
While laws can vary from state to state and territory to territory, generally you also need to be wary of drinking alcohol when riding a bicycle (electric or standard), riding a horse or operating a horse-drawn carriage on public roads or anywhere on public property.
You also need to be mindful when on the water. Most states and territories now conduct drug and alcohol testing on people who operate boats. This can be extended to other watercraft, including a sailing craft, canoe or a kayak.
Take it easy with alcohol, for safety’s sake
Why is it effectively against the law to use a ride-on mower, ride a horse, operate an electric scooter or drive a boat while over the legal limit? For the same reason why you can be charged with drink driving if you drink alcohol and drive a vehicle or ride a motorbike.
All of these activities are dangerous if you’re affected by alcohol. The effects of alcohol include a reduction in coordination, impairment of a person’s judgement, reduced reaction times, reduced inhibition and distortion of the perception of risk.
Have a drink if you want, by all means. Just do it safely. Otherwise alcohol testing may catch you!
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Can you fail alcohol testing while operating a ride-on mower? A Queensland man has found out the hard way that you can. Credit Carnaby Gilany https://unsplash.com/photos/o_7ZmeXlwjo