Ask an Official: DNR Warden discusses consequences of drunken driving of recreational vehicles
This week’s featured question was submitted for DNR Conservation Warden Pat Novesky.
“I’m assuming that an ATV, snowmobile or boat would be under the same penalties for driving under the influence and of all the people we have asked, no one has been certain. So if you were ever stopped and over the legal limit while driving an ATV, etc., what are the consequences? Does it affect your automobile/CDL licenses?
“Looking forward to hearing from you, thank you for your time.”
Answer as given by Warden Novesky:
“A person suspected of operating a recreational vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant is going to go through a similar process as a driver of a car or truck on the highway.
“Under the process, the person would be asked to perform field sobriety tests, and possibly a preliminary breath test. If the driver shows signs of impairment, the driver then would be arrested, handcuffed and issued a citation in the range of $452.50-$641.50 (depending on the vehicle they are operating) for operating under the influence. The person then would be transported to another location for a breath or blood test, which would provide an accurate reading as to the blood alcohol concentration (also known as BAC) of the person tested. The BAC reading plus the officer’s observations in the field are used as evidence of driving impairment. If the reading would show a blood alcohol concentration over .08, a second citation would be issued for $452.50-$641.50. If a driver would refuse to complete any of the tests, the person would be issued a citation for $452.50-$641.50 for failure to submit to testing.
“If there were no other violations or extenuating circumstances, the person would likely be able to be released to a responsible party after the tests and paperwork would be completed. This would be the penalty for a 1st offense of operating a recreational vehicle while intoxicated, subsequent violations, operating with a passenger under the age of 16, or being involved in an accident that causes injury or death to another person can result in criminal penalties and fines, jail and/or prison time. However, none of these violations would affect a person’s driver’s license or commercial driver’s license.”
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