During the winter in early 2018, 8-year old Alan Geisenkoetter Jr. was struck and killed by a snowmobiler as he waited on a lake to go ice fishing with his father. The driver of the snowmobile had his driver’s license revoked due to multiple DWI offenses.

Since the driver’s previous DWI incidents occurred while driving a car, he still had driving privileges for snowmobiles, motor boats and ATVs. Now a new Minnesota law that went in effect on August 1, 2018, closes the loophole that allowed people to continue to operate off-road vehicles after losing their license due to driving while intoxicated.

The new law called “Little Alan’s Law,” broadens the restrictions of operating any type of vehicle no matter what a person was driving when they received a DWI. Here is a breakdown of the new law:

  • If you are caught driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated, you will face the same penalties as before for a DWI but operating an ATV or snowmobile will also be restricted for one year
  • For those who operate boats, a DWI offense while driving a motor vehicle will restrict boating privileges for 90 days during the window of May 1 to October 31
  • A first-time offense for DWI while operating a boat, ATV or snowmobile will now face the same consequences as if driving a motor vehicle
  • If you are charged with DWI while operating a boat, the driver will be subject to having their motor vehicle license suspended and will not be able to operate a snowmobile, boat or ATV for one year

If you are someone who enjoys off road vehicles such as ATVs, boats or snowmobiles, this new law may affect you if you receive a DWI while driving a car. You will no longer be able to easily default to these other forms of transportation due to a DWI.