Will A DWI Affect My Ability To Drive A Boat, Snowmobile, or ATV?


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Everyone knows that driving while intoxicated in a car or truck will net you the loss of your driver’s license if you are caught. However, not everyone knows how a drunk driving conviction in a car will affect their rights to operate other motorized vehicles.

In the past, it didn’t have an effect. It was actually quite a glaring loophole that someone with a DWI could use a snowmobile or ATV to get around instead. This is precisely what lead to one of Minnesota’s newer DWI laws – Little Alan’s Law.

It used to be that if you got a DWI in a car and lost your license, you could technically circumvent this by driving another motor vehicle. This is just what one man did in February 2018 when he got behind the wheel of his snowmobile while intoxicated after losing his driver’s license to a previous DWI convictions. Unfortunately for 8-year-old Alan Geisenkoetter Jr., he was the fatal victim of this man’s intoxication while setting up his family’s ice fishing hut. After the tragic loss, Minnesota state passed Little Alan’s Law that took effect in August 2018 which effectively revokes not only your driver’s license, but your ability to drive any other motorized vehicle.

What This Means For Your DWI Case

This new law means that your transportation restrictions, even for leisure activities, are greatly limited. It means that if you lose your license to drive a car for a DWI, you cannot use any motorized vehicle. You will lose license to operate boat, snowmobile, or ATVs for the same duration as the loss of your driver’s license.

Alternatively, if you were to get a DWI while driving your boat, for example, this means you will also lose your driver’s license. You will be barred from not only boating, but ATV use, snowmobile use, and driving your car or truck.

Minnesota has always flaunted their “zero tolerance” policy on driving while intoxicated, and this new law just comes down harder on those who are convicted. While this old loophole was particularly handy to those with off-road vehicles to use for transportation, now if you get behind any wheel while intoxicated, you need to be prepared to face the harsh consequences that will significantly tighten your transportation ability.

What to Do?

While Little Alan’s Law changes the punishments for a DWI regardless of the vehicle you were in, it doesn’t change what you should do next. If you have been arrested for a DWI in Minnesota, your first step should be to contact a skilled DWI defense attorney to represent you early. Ideally, you want to contact them as soon as possible after arrest and severely limit what you say until you talk to your representation. What you say and the decisions you make can be used against you. By having skilled representation, they can help guide you on what you can say and what will hurt your case.

By fighting these charges at the time of arrest, you can help to protect not only your license to drive a car, but your license to operate a boat, ATV, or snowmobile. Considering these motorized vehicles are crucial for a lot of beloved Minnesota leisure activities, keeping your ability to drive them is definitely something you want.

If you have been arrested for a DWI in Minnesota, it doesn’t matter what vehicle you were driving, you need help. For those that want to begin an aggressive and strong DWI defense, contact us today. The Speas Law Firm can help you avoid the harsh and life-limiting punishments that accompany a DWI conviction in Minnesota. Let us go over your case today.

Disclaimer: The content of this article does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Please contact Jennifer Speas to discuss the specifics of your case. Please read our disclaimer.