Blountville lawnmower driver arrested for DUI; allegedly drove on wrong side of road, refused to stop for police

Rain Smith • Apr 12, 2010 at 12:00 AM

A Blountville man has been arrested and charged with DUI after allegedly riding his lawnmower on the wrong side of the road -- ignoring police sirens and loudspeakers for a half mile before stopping.

An arrest report at the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office says the incident occurred at about 11 p.m. Friday, on Harr Town Road. A deputy reports passing a man, later identified as Martin Junior McMurray, 46, of 729 Harr Town Road, riding a mower down the roadway.

The deputy turned his squad car around to follow the mower, with McMurray allegedly steering into the opposite lane of traffic. The deputy activated his blue lights, which McMurray reportedly ignored, before giving commands on the squad car's loudspeaker to pull over. The report says McMurray continued driving.

The deputy says that after following the lawnmower -- which continued traveling on the wrong side of the road -- for about a half mile, McMurray finally pulled over. The report states McMurray was unsteady on his feet, with police detecting a "strong odor" of alcoholic beverage.

When asked if he'd been drinking, McMurray allegedly replied he'd, "had a few beers with dinner." While searching McMurray police located an unopened 12-ounce can of cold beer in his jacket pocket. McMurray was given field sobriety tests, allegedly performing poorly. A check of his driver's license status revealed it had been revoked.

McMurray was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, driving on a revoked license and being a habitual motor offender. He was booked into the Sullivan County jail, where a check of his blood alcohol content allegedly came back as .15.

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