Unity man charged with OUI on mower

Posted Sept. 17, 2009, at 3:06 p.m.

UNITY, Maine — A local man was arrested Wednesday night and charged with operating a vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants after he was stopped while driving a riding lawn mower on School Street.

Jeffrey S. Cookson, 39, also was charged with operating after license suspension and operating beyond license restriction after the 9:20 p.m. incident. He was taken to the Waldo County Jail where he is being held for violating his probation.

Waldo County Chief Deputy Robert Keating said the department had received complaints Wednesday about a man driving a lawn mower around town.

Keating said Deputy Dave Mushrall was on routine patrol on School Street a short time later when he observed a pair of headlights turn on from the side of the road in his lane of travel. Mushrall noticed the lights were smaller than those of a full-sized car.

Mushrall reported that the vehicle crossed the street and drove in his direction in the oncoming lane. As it got closer, Mushrall realized it was a lawn mower heading his way. When the mower drove by him, Mushrall turned his cruiser around and activated his blue lights. The mower driver immediately turned the mower into a driveway and stopped.

When Mushrall approached Cookson, who was on the mower, he determined the man was intoxicated. When he checked the Waldo County Dispatch Center for Cookson’s driving record, he learned his license had been suspended and that he was on probation. At that point, Cookson was arrested and taken to the jail, Keating said Thursday.

wgriffin@bangordailynews.net

338-9546

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