A new law taking effect today in Minnesota considerably impacts the operation of off-road vehicles in terms of DWI. Known as Little Alan’s Law, the measure was named after an 8-year-old who was struck and killed by someone operating a snowmobile in January.
Under the new measure, those who have their licenses revoked via DWI convictions will not only be barred from operating automobiles, but off-road vehicles as well, which include snowmobiles, ATVs, and motorboats.
The snowmobile driver who fatally injured the young boy had previously faced multiple DWI convictions.
“We have zero tolerance for people who endanger themselves and other people by operating a motor vehicle or recreational vehicle while they’re intoxicated,” stated Minnesota DNR Enforcement Division Col. Rodmen Smith, via a news release made available by the state DNR. “This new law should send the message that drinking and driving – no matter what the vehicle – isn’t acceptable and the consequences are severe.”
Under the new law, penalties are as follows:
1st-time offenders operating off-road vehicles or motorboats will be subject to the same penalties drivers of highway-licensed vehicle face, including:
- Chemical use assessments
- Plate impoundment
- Conditional release
A motorboat driver convicted of DWI, or one who refuses a chemical test will be subject to the following:
- Driver’s license suspension
- Prohibited from operating snowmobiles, ATVs, and motorboats for a period of one year.
Out of all states, Minnesota was reported to have had the second most registrations in terms of snowmobiles in 2016, according to Statistica.com.