A new law affecting Minnesota residents convicted of DUI became effective on August 1 of this year, bringing with it restrictions on the ability to drive a wide variety of vehicles. The new law is known as Little Alan’s Law.
Little Alan’s Law
Eight-year-old Alan Geisenkoetter, Jr., was watching his father, Alan Sr., put up an icehouse on Chisago Lake in January when an intoxicated snowmobiler careened into their area, grazing the family truck, hitting Alan Jr., and finally coming to rest after smashing into the icehouse. Alan Jr. was airlifted to the hospital, suffering extensive head trauma. Five days later he was dead.
In the days following the crash, it was discovered that the snowmobile driver was not only drunk during the accident, but he had three previous DWI convictions and his driver’s license had been revoked on three occasions.
Closing a Loophole
Prior to August 1, a loophole in Minnesota law allowed those convicted of DWI to operate off-road vehicles such as snowmobiles, boats and ATVs, despite those convictions.
Essentially, the new law means that first-time DWI offenders will be prohibited from operating a motor vehicle for 90 days (this part is not new) and will be barred from operating off-road vehicles for a year (that’s the new part). Also, a person convicted of DUI in any vehicle will not be allowed to operate a motorboat for a 90-day period between May 1 and October 1, the state’s peak boating season.
The law passed with no opposition.
The Importance of a Strong Defense
With many Minnesotans spending more and more time outdoors, including on lakes and using off-road vehicles, it is important for state residents to be aware of Little Alan’s Law. A drunk driving conviction, even a first offense, triggers the yearlong ban on off-road vehicle operation.
As with every DUI allegation, the accused deserves a strong defense, a fact made even more important with the new law, as a conviction now leaves no room for unconventional transportation options, such as using a snowmobile to get from point A to point B despite a driver’s license suspension.
We’re Here to Help
If you or someone you love has been arrested for driving under the influence in Minnesota, the attorneys of White & Associates in Elk River are here to help. We are experienced in DUI defense and can quickly tell you what you’re facing and what we can do for you. Call us at 763-241-0477 to speak to a lawyer.