New Restrictions for Minnesota DWI Convictions: Little Alan’s Law

In response to the tragic death of Alan Geisenkoetter, the Minnesota legislature enacted a new law — known as Little Alan's Law — imposing additional restrictions for anyone convicted of a DWI offense. Alan Geisenkoetter was killed by a drunk driver in Chisago County when he was ice fishing with his family on a local lake. The drunk driver was not driving a car, but was operating a snowmobile. At the time of the accident, the driver’s license was revoked as a result of a recent DWI offense, but that revocation only applied to automobiles — not snowmobiles, ATVs, or boats.

Alan’s law now applies highway-based DWI license revocations to ATVs, snowmobiles, and boats. Alan’s law does have some unique wrinkles in terms of its application.

Boating Revocations for DWI Only Run During the Limited Minnesota Boating Season

Minnesota’s boating season is limited by our long winters. Therefore, the legislature designed the boating revocation to only run for the time period of May – September. Thus, if someone is convicted of a first-time DWI in November, and their BAC was .15 or less, their boating revocation would run from May 1, through the end of July, even though their automobile license would have been reinstated.

Revocations Only Follow a DWI CONVICTION

An automobile driver's license can be revoked in the following ways:

  • after a test failure (testing over .08),
  • after a test refusal, or
  • following a DWI conviction.

In the typical automobile DWI, a license is revoked upon test failure (before ever setting foot in court). But this revocation only applies to highway restrictions — not ATV, snowmobile, or boating restrictions. ATV, snowmobile, and boating revocations only apply upon a DWI conviction. Why does this distinction matter? If you’re able to resolve your DWI case in any way that does not result in a DWI conviction (e.g. Careless Driving), then your off-road operating privileges will not be impacted by your test failure or test refusal.

What to Do After You’ve Been Arrested for DWI

If you been arrested for a recent DWI offense, not only is your driver’s license at risk, but so also are your boating, ATV, and snowmobiling privileges. Contact the Balmer Law Office to learn more about your options and the surprising consequences of a DWI conviction.

Categories: DWI / Drunk Driving