Mobile County Criminal Law Attorney

drinking while driving ATV/UTV

Will a DUI Affect My Ability to Drive a Boat, Snowmobile, or ATV?

Logically it would seem reasonable that repeated DUI convictions would impact your ability to operate other motorized vehicles such as a boat, snowmobile, or all-terrain vehicle (ATV). But this is not true in Alabama.

DUI and Other Vehicles

Safe vehicle operation does not apply just to automobiles. Operating a boat, an all-terrain vehicle (ATV), or a snowmobile all require a driver in control.   

For example, according to federal statistics, ATV accidents lead to 500 to 600 fatalities a year, many resulting from driving while intoxicated. According to the Coast Guard, reckless boating killed 613 people in injured 2,559 in 2019, and alcohol is considered the leading known contributing factor in boating accidents and deaths.

Consider the actions of Minnesota. Automobile driving privileges are suspended for a year if you are convicted of DUI while operating a snowmobile or an ATV. You may not operate a boat for 90 days. Conversely, in Minnesota, anyone convicted of a DUI while operating a boat, an ATV, or a snowmobile will lose their motor vehicle license. 

Minnesota imposed some of the harshest punishments concerning off-road vehicles after the death of eight-year-old Alan Geisenkoetter Jr., who was killed by an intoxicated snowmobile operator.

The Minnesota Legislature voted in 2018 to terminate allowing any driver with prior DUI’s from driving a snowmobile, boat, or all-terrain vehicle. A DUI conviction meant no boating privilege for at least 90 days. The prohibition from using an ATV or snowmobile lasts for one year.

Alabama BUI

Even being convicted of Boating Under the Influence (BUI) will not affect your automobile driver’s license in Alabama.

A BUI offense is a class A misdemeanor, and the penalties resemble a DUI conviction. A BUI that involves death becomes a class C felony and can bring up to 10 years in prison and $15,000 in fines.

It may not make sense, but even with multiple BUI boating offenses and felonies, you still do not lose your license to drive an automobile in the state of Alabama.

That is not the case in some other states – Alaska, Arkansas, California, Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, Texas, and Utah. There you will lose driving privileges with a BUI conviction.

Your Alabama DUI Attorney

If you are facing a DUI in the state of Alabama, you face losing your ability to drive and jail time. Jason Darley can help you understand your options during this difficult time. Do not delay. You can reach Mr. Darley at 251-732-7058.

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