Police detained but did not charge the mayor of Aynor, South Carolina, after he allegedly drove his lawnmower down the middle of the road while holding an open can of beer, according to WSOC.
Myrtle Beach Online reports that officers pulled Mayor John Gardner over on August 25 and spotted an “open container.” Dashcam video of the incident went viral after it was posted online.
Horry County police said they pulled Gardner over because he was swerving his mower all over the street, according to reports.
“You have an open container of Miller Light. You were drinking going down the road,” one officer can be heard telling him on the dashcam video.
Another officer can be heard asking, “You ain’t supposed to have that, you know that. Am I right or am I wrong?”
Though the footage captured Gardner apologizing before dumping the beer, he now claims that the can wasn’t open when police pulled him over. In fact, he now calls the run-in “just a misunderstanding.”
“It was unopened to the best of my knowledge,” Gardner told a local newspaper on September 8. “I remember opening it to pour it out.”
Aynor Police Chief David Thompson recently revealed to Myrtle Beach Online that their department never officially investigated the stop. However, Fifteenth Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson said that, based on the dashcam recording, Gardner should have at least been ticketed.
“Honestly, I have no idea if it would have risen to the level of a DUI,” Richardson also told Myrtle Beach Online. “I’ve been asked can you get a DUI on a lawnmower. You could.”
Horry County police spokeswoman Krystal Dotson claimed that local officers used their discretion to contact Aynor instead of handling the situation themselves. Despite this, Richardson said he isn’t sure whether the mayor was given preferential treatment on the night in question.
“I know how it looks but all of us have got a break at some point,” he commented.
[Featured Image: WSOC]