Snowmobiling, ATV and Boating While Intoxicated Will Now Cause Loss Of Driver's License in Minnesota

By: Ken Kohler

August 1st, 2018, a new law came into effect in Minnesota.

In January, a young child was killed when he was struck by a snowmobile driven by a man whose driver’s license had been revoked for previous DUI offenses. In response to this tragedy, legislators have enacted a new law, dubbed “Little Alan’s Law” in an effort to strengthen the State’s fight against drunk drivers.

Under the new law, if you are convicted of snowmobiling, boating or driving an ATV while intoxicated, you won't just lose your off-road or recreational driving privileges, you will have your actual driver’s license suspended. Even first time DWI's on snowmobiles, boats or all-terrain vehicles will cause operators to not just lose their operating privileges, but to actually lose their license to drive any motor vehicle in the State of Minnesota. This will affect out-of-state offenders as well, as their driving privileges in Minnesota will be affected, and may follow them back to their home state. Extensive legal fees, fines and reinstatement fees would also follow. At a time when driving privileges can drastically affect a person’s ability to maintain employment or severely inconvenience them in everyday life, this new law needs to have everyone’s attention.

Prior to this change, first time DWI offenders on boats, snowmobiles, or ATVs would lose the ability to operate that recreational vehicle as a consequence. After August 1, there will also be a significant lose of automobile driving privileges as well. The cost of getting charged with having a few beers on your boat, or driving between bars on your snowmobile just went up if you’re found to be under the influence or have an alcohol concentration of .08 or over.

Defenses used in "normal" DWI cases to challenge these automobile license revocations will now need to be applied in boating/snowmobiling/ATVing DWI cases. This will mean more contested hearings in DUI cases, and more implied consent hearings to contest license revocations. People need to know that they will not only need to evaluate the legal consequences of a DUI charge, but now their license revocation as well. Worse yet, charged individuals will have just 60 days to raise a license revocation challenge or lose the right forever. This is just another reason to drink responsibly no matter where you are or what you’re doing (or face the consequences.)

For legal defense questions relating to these matters and more, contact the experienced and capable defense team at Vogel Law Firm.

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