“Why is he mowing your dirt patch?” “I’m showing him how the world works. You work, you get paid, you drink.” Bill Murray, St. Vincent

So I was reading the Martinsville Bulletin today when an article titled “Bill making it legal to drive drunk at home makes it halfway through Virginia General Assembly, but fails late” caught my attention.

First of all, I didn’t know it was illegal to drive drunk at home, even if you wanted. Unless you own your own private road, how could you? But if you did, I didn’t think the law prevented a person from going on a drunken spin on their own private property.

Well, I was mistaken. Can you imagine that? Turns out “driving and drinking” doesn’t require a car or a road. A riding lawn mower and a front yard will suffice for legal purposes.

Now the State Senators thought it was reasonable to excuse a man drinking on his property while mowing his yard, but the Delegates over in the House said it was too difficult to tell the difference between a man drinking a beer at home and a man who was drinking on his way home and got there.

For sure, I thought the law on this matter was like baseball, once you tagged home plate you were safe. Not the case folks.

I remember reading the true story of a man that had just bought himself a brand new $50,000 dollar truck. He parked his new ride in his driveway and went inside to get a beer, salute his new toy, and admire it awhile. On the second beer he decided to get inside the cab in his driveway and play with the new stereo. Doing so required putting the keys in the ignition. After awhile, one of his neighbors called 9-1-1 to complain about loud music. When the police arrived, they found the man in his new truck in his driveway, enjoying his new stereo with a beer in his hand. They charged him with Driving Under the Influence and confiscated his brand new truck. I remind you, this is a true story.

The House Courts of Justice subcommittee shot down the notion of applying common sense to a simple situation because they didn’t have any. On the chance you question my summation, I’ve pulled a few of their quotes from the article and added a response.

“Sitting in your driveway with your car running could mean you just got there.”

or not…

“You know, this is a tough nut.”

the bill or those debating it?

“I would defy you to go 70 miles per hour in the curtilage of your yard.”

Give it try. Let’s find out just how tough a nut you really are!

“This is not just sitting on a lawnmower enjoying a Heineken while you’re driving around.”

Correct. No self-respecting yard keeper drinks Heineken.

“Even driving your lawnmower drunk can endanger little kids.”

Driving a lawnmower around little kids is dangerous, dumb-ass.