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Proposed Laws Would Toughen Penalties For Operating ATVs, Snowmobiles Drunk

February 4, 2012 |

Proposed changes to current laws would increase the severity of consequences for operating recreational vehicles while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

According to a recent article published on, alcohol is involved in about 75 percent of snowmobile fatalities yearly in Wisconsin. A public hearing was held Tuesday discussing an Assembly bill, which would toughen Wisconsin’s current laws regarding drunken operation of snowmobiles, ATVs and boats.

Currently, if someone is found guilty of operating a snowmobile while under the influence, they face a $600 fine. If found guilty of operating an ATV or boat under intoxication, they face lesser fines. The citations for different offenses are not linked so if a person is cited for operating a snowmobile under the influence as a first offense, that same person could simultaneously face first offenses for operating an ATV or a boat, instead of face a 2nd or 3rd offense.

If laws are amended as proposed, anyone operating a snowmobile, ATV or boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol would be suspended for 12 to 16 months on the first citation. A second offense within five years of operating any recreational vehicle while intoxicated would face a fine of up to $1,100, jail time of up to one year and a suspension of any recreational vehicle licenses for six to 12 months.

The proposed changes would also link all types of recreation vehicles together, so a violation on one type of vehicle would count against all types.

If you or your loved one has been seriously injured in any type of recreational motor vehicle accident, you may want to speak with an experienced Wisconsin motor vehicle accident attorney today. Call for a free, initial consultation.


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