New Law Will Close Loopholes In DWI Laws, Expanding To All Vehicles
After a fatal snowmobile accident in January a new law will close loopholes in DWI laws by expanding them to all types of vehicles.
"My daughter and son-in-law are empty. The most I can hope for them is a few minutes of random happiness on any given day, that's not what they signed up for when they had little Alan," Alan's grandmother said.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced the 'Little Alan' Law will go into effect August 1st. It's named after 8-year-old Alan Geisenkoetter Jr., who was killed when he was struck by a snowmobile driven by Eric Coleman, who prosecutors say was intoxicated and had a history of drunk driving and license revocations.
"We have a zero tolerance for people that endanger their own lives and especially the lives of others who are operating a motor vehicle, a recreational vehicle or a motorboat while they're under the influence," DNR Enforcement Division Director Col. Rodmen Smith said.
The new law means people convicted of driving while intoxicated - regardless of the vehicle they're driving - will lose their driver's license and be prohibited from operating motor vehicles, including all-terrain vehicles, motorboats and snowmobiles.
"People that operate recreational vehicles can kill people just as easily as they can in a minivan, in a pickup truck, or any other traditional motor vehicle," Col. Smith added.
Before the law change, people convicted of DWI in a highway-licensed vehicle still could legally operate ATVs, motorboats and snowmobiles.
"This legislation makes our roadways, trail systems and waterways much safer here in the state of Minnesota," Smith said.
The Minnesota DNR and other law enforcement agencies in the state, along with ATV and snowmobile groups, supported the law change, which passed the Legislature with bipartisan support and was signed into law in May by Gov. Mark Dayton.
--KEYC News 12