Will a DWI Affect My Ability to Drive a Boat, Snowmobile, or ATV?


When it comes to driving while under the influence, the laws have recently changed. Starting August first of last year, Minnesota made a new law that was named after little Alan, a young boy who died because someone was driving their snowmobile under the influence of alcohol.

Then, the truth came out. The driver couldn’t drive his regular vehicle because he had several DWIs (driving while intoxicated) under his belt. However, that didn’t stop him from riding his snowmobile. One joyride, under the influence of alcohol, ended a boy’s life. If he was unable to ride his snowmobile because of these DWIs, little Alan would still be alive!

What Is the New Rule?

Because of this, anyone who is convicted of a DWI in Minnesota will be unable to drive their boat for at least ninety days. If they refuse to get tested, they could lose the privilege for up to a year. Either way, they won’t be able to operate a snowmobile or all-terrain vehicle (ATV) for a year.

To make it worse, you only lose your license for certain months of the year. Nobody uses their boats in November and December, so it doesn’t make sense to punish you during that time.

Because of this, you will lose your privileges from May first until October thirty-first. If your ninety days (or year is not over), you will lose your privileges against starting on the first of May until your entire sentence is over.

So, What Does This Mean If You Are Caught Operating a Recreational Vehicle While You Are Drinking

If you are caught operating a boat, snowmobile, or an ATV while you are drinking (or under the influence), you will lose your driver’s license, along with your ability to drive your boat, snowmobile, or ATV. If it is high enough (0.16 or more), you could even lose the tags to your vehicle. It can be quite costly to get them back to get your vehicle back on the road.

The more times that you are convicted, the longer you will lose your license and the ability to operate your recreational vehicles. While you may start with losing the privilege for a few months, you could lose them for a year (or even longer)!

How Does This Work

When you are convicted of a DWI, you will receive a notice in the mail from the Commissioner of Public Safety. This will outline how long you must wait to get behind the wheel of your vehicle and your recreational vehicles.

What about Underage Drivers

These new rules also apply to people who are not legally allowed to drink. If you are under twenty-one years old, you can’t drive a boat, snowmobile, or ATV if you even took a sip of alcohol! The state is cracking down on underage DWIs by making the consequences harsher. Not only will you lose your license, no matter what you are driving, you also won’t be able to drive any of your recreational vehicles.

Because of the new harsher laws in Minnesota, you should never operate anything when you have been drinking. Not only could it cost you your license, but you can also lose your ability to have fun on your boat or snowmobile.

Even though most people think about getting a DWI when they get behind the wheel of their vehicle, Minnesota is cracking down on operating recreational vehicles while drinking too! They don’t want any more senseless deaths like little Alan.

Contact us for all of your legal needs. We will help you fight your charges so one mistake doesn’t change your whole life.

Related Posts
  • Field Sobriety Tests in Minnesota: How They Work and What to Know Read More
  • Why is Memorial Day the Start of MN's 100 Deadliest Days? Read More
  • BWIs: Staying Safe on the Water Read More