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S.C. man charged with driving tractor while drunk

Recently, Highway Patrol troopers saw a Conway, South Carolina, resident driving a John Deere tractor down the highway on South Carolina 38, near Interstate 95, outside of Latta, South Carolina. The operator of that tractor is now facing drunk driving charges.

It still is unclear how the 48-year-old man came into possession of the tractor, which belongs to the city of Conway. City officials reported it stolen the same day the man was arrested and charged with DUI. The man was apprehended about 50 miles from Conway, according to police.

Once the state trooper stopped the man, the tractor driver was arrested without incident and the tractor put into impound. Because city officials had not yet discovered the missing piece of equipment, it did not show up on any theft reports.

After Conway city workers went to pick up the tractor from where they had spotted it the day before and found it missing, they reported the theft to police. The city had offered a $1,000 reward for information that could lead to the return of the tractor. Once troopers were able to piece together who owned the tractor, the city reclaimed it from impound.

Police in Conway have taken over that portion of the case, investigating how the tractor -- which bears City of Conway decals -- came into the man's possession. City officials continue to investigate the theft and have not charged the man in that case.

While this might sound like a funny story, there is nothing humorous about drinking and driving. However, details of the story do not indicate whether blood alcohol tests were performed on the suspect. So, it is unclear whether he was over the legal drinking limit before hopping onto the tractor. Nevertheless, he will have a chance to defend himself against the charges.

Source: The Sun News, "Police: Drunk SC man was driving stolen tractor on I-95," Tonya Root, Nov. 7, 2012

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