Minn. man admits driving drunk in his custom La-Z-Boy


MINNEAPOLIS — The operator of a La-Z-Boy chair converted
into a motorized vehicle — complete with a stereo and cup holders — has
admitted that he crashed the piece of furniture after leaving a bar in Proctor,
Minn., extremely drunk.

Dennis LeRoy Anderson, 61, of Proctor, pleaded guilty Monday
to hopping on the chair on the night of Aug. 31, 2008, after visiting the
Keyboard Lounge, then crashing into a more traditional vehicle in the parking
lot. Anderson’s blood-alcohol content was 0.29 percent, more than three times
the legal limit for driving in Minnesota.

Deputy Police Chief Troy Foucault said Thursday that the
chair is “quite decked out.” Along with the stereo and cup holders,
it is powered by a converted gasoline-powered lawnmower, a steering wheel,
headlights and a power antenna.

Foucault estimated that the La-Z-Boy can top out at 15 to 20
miles per hour. A National Hot Rod Association sticker adorns the headrest.

The chair was impounded and will be sold at the next police

“We have quite a few people calling about buying
it,” said Foucault, who half-seriously acknowledged that he’s tempted to
bid on it, except that “I have kids who would take it out and drive it on
the street.”

Anderson admitted to police that he had been drinking at
home, was leaving the bar and had drunk eight or nine beers that day before getting
on the La-Z-Boy and crashing it into a Dodge Intrepid parked outside, Foucault
said. Anderson was treated at the scene for minor injuries and given a field
sobriety test, even though he pleaded several times with the officer to
“give him a break,” according to the police report.

“He failed everything,” Foucault said, leading to
Anderson’s arrest and seizure of the chair. The officer on the scene checked
Anderson’s driver’s license and determined that it had been revoked because of
a previous drunken-driving conviction, according to police.

Anderson, who does auto body repair work out of his home,
was sentenced Monday to 180 days in the St. Louis County jail or at the
Northeast Regional Corrections Center and was fined $2,000. The jail time and
half of the fine was stayed for two years of supervised probation with
conditions that include a chemical dependency assessment, random testing and 30
days of electronic monitoring.

Via McClatchy-Tribune News Services.