Lawnmower Man Hit With DUI Rap

When authorities warned Paul Schwarztrauber Jr. not to drink and drive, it may not have been entirely clear to him that the prohibition also applied to lawnmowers.

The 46-year-old was pulled over this week and charged with riding his lawnmower on a public street while intoxicated and with a revoked license, following a complaint from a neighbor

Police said Schwarztrauber, who had two previous DUI convictions, had his 1-year-old daughter on his lap. He refused to stop and shouted obscenities when a patrol car arrived responding to complaint about a man driving a lawnmower erratically in the street, authorities said.

"He kept driving for a few moments. One of the officers then walked up to the mower (and) turned off the ignition," said Lt. David Fellows.

It is illegal to drive any motor vehicle while intoxicated and to drive one on a public road without a license, Fellows said.

Police in Fairview Heights, 10 miles southeast of St. Louis, gave Schwarztrauber a sobriety test and arrested him Monday. He remained jailed on $50,000 bail Thursday. It wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney.

Schwarztrauber was convicted of DUI in 1983 and 1990. In the 1983 case, he also was convicted of fleeing Illinois State Police, speeding, battery and illegally transporting alcohol.