Proctor man admits to drinking, then driving motorized La-Z-Boy
DULUTH - A Proctor man driving a motorized La-Z-Boy lounge chair hit a parked vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
Dennis LeRoy Anderson, 62, pleaded guilty Monday in St. Louis County District Court to DWI in connection with the Aug. 31, 2008, incident in Proctor. There were no injuries.
According to the criminal complaint, Anderson drove his motorized chair into a vehicle parked near a Proctor bar. Anderson told police he was traveling from the Keyboard Lounge after consuming approximately eight or nine beers. His blood-alcohol content was measured at 0.29 percent, more than three times the legal limit to drive.
Anderson claimed he was driving the chair fine until a woman jumped on it and knocked the chair off course. He has one prior DWI conviction. He couldn't be reached for comment Wednesday.
Proctor Deputy Police Chief Troy Foucault said the chair was powered by a converted lawnmower with a Briggs & Stratton engine. It has a stereo, cup holders and other custom options, including different power levels.
A National Hot Rod Racing Association sticker is posted on the chair's head rest. The chair had a small steering wheel, about a third of the size of a golf cart's, coming straight up from the middle of the La-Z-Boy.
Proctor City Prosecutor Ronald Envall said he charged Anderson under the portion of Minnesota law that makes it a crime to operate a self-propelled motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. He declined further comment.
Anderson had to forfeit his motorized chair to Proctor police, who plan to auction it with other forfeited items, Foucault said.
Duluth defense attorney David Keegan, who represented Anderson, declined comment.
Sixth Judicial District Judge Heather Sweetland sentenced Anderson to 180 days in the St. Louis County Jail or at the Northeast Regional Corrections Center and fined him $2,000 plus court fees. She stayed the jail time and one-half of the fine for two years of supervised probation. As conditions of his probation, Anderson must submit to a chemical dependency assessment, follow all recommendations, abstain from alcohol and unprescribed drugs, be subject to random testing and undergo 30 days of electronic monitoring.