Drunk lawnmower riding nets $2,000 fine for Ont. man
A Niagara Falls man, caught driving a riding lawnmower with a blood-alcohol level four times the legal limit, has been fined $2,000 for operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol.
Frank Muileboom, 34, pleaded guilty Friday in an Ontario Court of Justice in St. Catharines in front of Judge Ian Cowan. The incident took place May 15 in a rural area of Niagara Falls near Willow Road and Netherby Road.
Assistant Crown attorney Mark Dean said Muileboon was on a riding lawnmower cutting grass near the edge of the road. A person called police to have him removed from the property. He had a case of beer between his knees when another neighbour tried to assist him because he had gone into a ditch.
The Crown said Muileboon showed “extreme” signs of impairment that included glassy eyes, slurred speech, he was unsteady on his feet and there was a strong odour of alcohol coming from his breath.
Police were called and two breathalyzer samples were obtained. Muileboon was found to have readings of 342 and 348 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80.
When the judge asked Muileboon if those facts were correct, he replied “This was on a country property. I guess I had too much to drink, but I didn’t think I was that intoxicated.”
Duty counsel David D’Intino said it’s obvious Muileboon has a problem with alcohol, but he has taken steps to enter a treatment centre.
“He has had some problems with depression and when he gets depressed, he self-medicates,” said D’Intino. “He was trying to do some good by cutting grass. No one was hurt and he has tried to make some changes to his life.”
Muileboon told the judge he has been struggling with his problem for years, but he has returned home to live with his parents on their farm and is now working with his father.
“At least you were not on the road, you were close to it, and you were more of a danger to yourself,” said Cowan.
“I should have known better,” replied Muileboon, adding he tries to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings when possible and has stopped hanging around with some of his friends.
Muileboon received a $2,000 fine, is prohibited from driving for a year, and is on probation for two years. Terms include attend for any counselling that is recommended by his probation officer.