Friday, November 6, 2009

Motorized La-Z-Boy? DUI, e-Bay, Lawyers

ACT I - Need for Speed

Maybe you saw the story last week about the guy taking his Reclining Chair out for a spin? Motorized by a lawn mower engine, equipped with a stereo and cup holder, the guy allegedly went from zero to twenty with beer in tow.

The Star Tribune described the chair:
The chair runs on a converted gasoline-powered lawnmower engine and has a steering wheel, headlights, rear roll bars, a power antenna, stereo and cup holders. It can top out at 15 to 20 miles per hour. Stickers on the back include a National Hot Rod Association logo and one that reads, "Hell yeah it's fast."

ACT II - Need for Greed

La-Z-Boy Puts Brakes on DUI Chair Auction
Posted Nov 2nd 2009 7:00PM by TMZ Staff
Mere hours before bidding was scheduled to end on the infamous DUI La-Z-Boy-Mobile, the motorized recliner suddenly vanished from the auction -- and TMZ has learned it's all because of a battle over its name.
Read more:

With the price at $43,100 and rising, eBay received a demand letter from the most unlikely of parties -- the La-Z-Boy corporation itself. We're told La-Z-Boy played the trademark card due to the title of the auction "La-Z-Boy DWI Chair" and eBay was forced to pull the auction.Read more:

ACT III - "Braking" News: It's not a La-Z-Boy!

Correction: Lounge Chair-Drunk Driving story
DULUTH, Minn. — In stories Oct. 22 and Oct. 29 about a motorized recliner in which a man was arrested in Proctor, Minn., for driving drunk, The Associated Press erroneously described the recliner as a La-Z-Boy. Police in Proctor, where the recliner will be auctioned, say the brand is not La-Z-Boy.

ACT IV - Ebay Auction of DUI Chair Reposted!

View the YouTube video

ACT V - Everyone's getting in on the act

Posted on ebay:


Time left:
4 days 17 hours (Nov 10, 200920:15:49 PST)
Bid history:
23 bids[Refresh]
Current bid:
US $700.00

Also on ebay: Autographed Photo Famous DWI Chair, Motorized Chair


How is this not front page news?


Chair buyer will not honor bid
Proctor Journal
Payment on the $10,000 bid for a motorized chair made famous by being involved in a DWI accident did not materialize.
The winning bidder for the motorized lounge chair e-mailed the Proctor Police to say he was not going to buy it. Clayton Adler wrote: “I apologize, but there seems to be a mistake. I did not mean to bid this amount, as well as I cannot afford this. I am truly sorry for the mix up and the wasted time.”
His bid was $10,099.99.

.... the chair to the next highest bidder. That bid was for $9,999.99.

The Final Act - Would it be DUI in Georgia?

Riding mower a motor vehicle? Ga. Supreme Court says no
By Larry Hartstein
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
12:19 p.m. Monday, November 23, 2009
Toro might be the "next level of lawn care," as its Web site claims, but a riding mower does not rise to the level of a motor vehicle, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled Monday.
At least when it comes to the motor vehicle theft law.
In a 4-3 opinion, the court reversed the conviction of a man sentenced to 10 years for stealing a lawnmower.
"To be sure, a riding lawnmower is capable of transporting people or property and of driving the street for short stretches, but that is not what the machine is designed for or how it is normally used -- there being little grass to mow on streets, and there being faster and less noisy ways of moving people and property around," Justice David Nahmias wrote for the majority.
In 2006, Franklin Lloyd Harris and two others stole a Toro riding mower worth more than $500 from a Home Depot in Dalton, drove it to Athens, Tenn., and sold it, court documents state.
As a repeat offender, Harris received 10 years in prison under the motor vehicle theft law and the Georgia Court of Appeals upheld the sentence.
While that conviction was thrown out Monday, Harris also had been convicted of theft by taking. He will be resentenced in Whitfield County on that charge alone.
Dissenting Justice Harold Melton pointed out that in the state's "chop shop" law, the term motor vehicle includes any devices "which are self-propelled but which are not designed for use upon a highway, including, but not limited to, farm machinery and construction equipment."
"This definition of ‘motor vehicle' is obviously broad enough to encompass a riding lawnmower," he continued. "Thus, if a riding lawnmower were stolen and taken to a ‘chop shop,' it would be a ‘motor vehicle' for purposes of its theft and storage and dismantling at a chop shop."

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