Publish date:

Minnesota's new DWI law goes into effect August 1

"Little Alan's Law" is in memory of a child killed by a drunk snowmobiler.

DWI offenders in Minnesota will face tougher penalties beginning Wednesday, Aug. 1. 

Currently, Minnesota law allows DWI offenders to continue driving motorboats, ATVs and snowmobiles while their driver's license is suspended. The new law will close that loophole. 

State legislatures designed the bill that Gov. Mark Dayton signed into law after a drunk snowmobiler hit an 8-year-old boy on Chisago Lake in January. The boy, Alan Geisenkoetter Jr., died five days after being struck

“This new law should send the message that drinking and driving – no matter what the vehicle – isn’t acceptable and the consequences are severe," said Col. Rodmen Smith, the director of the Minnesota DNR Enforcement Division. 

The operator of that snowmobile that killed the boy had not only been drinking at the time, he had three previous DWI convictions and his driver's license had been revoked on three occasions.

Eric J. Coleman, 45, is now facing murder charges relating to Geisenkotter's death.

The DNR provided this example of how the new law, dubbed "Little Alan's Law," will work. 

"As an example, a person convicted of DWI in a motorboat, or who refuses testing for a motorboat DWI, would have their driver’s license suspended and be prohibited from operating ATVs, motorboats and snowmobiles for one year. Additionally, first-time DWI offenders operating off-road recreational vehicles or motorboats also will be subject to chemical use assessments, conditional release and plate impoundment – the same as a DWI in a highway-licensed vehicle."

In addition to prohibiting the use all motor vehicles, first-time DWI offenders operating off-road recreational vehicles or motorboats will be subject to chemical use assessments and plate impoundment. 

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-10-15 at 10.01.55 PM

Large police presence at Emagine Willow Creek movie theater in Plymouth

There are few details at this stage as to what has happened.

Maple Grove Police Department

Maple Grove-based businessman convicted of fatally shooting wife

Wiseman owns properties in both Minnesota, Nevada and China.

betty and earls biscuits facebook

Jason Matheson's biscuit shop to briefly close ahead of relaunch

Betty & Earl's will shut down for two weeks before reopening under a new name.

Simon Merino Go Fund Me

Worker dies in forklift accident at paper recycling business

The victim was described as a loving father of two who was devoted to his church.

rosie means - go fund me

Authorities ID woman killed by hit-and-run driver who ran red light

A fundraiser was created to support the family after the "sudden and senseless loss."

Prior Lake Football

Watch: Prior Lake stuns Rosemount with last-second hook and ladder

The Lakers dusted off an old favorite to get a victory on Thursday night.

unsplas - maple leaf frost fall lawn

MN gets its first frost advisories, freeze warnings of the season

The coldest spots could dip to below 30 degrees overnight.

Fleck

Ahead of Big Ten clash, Huskers fans spend their Friday mocking PJ Fleck

Huskers fans are in a playful mood ahead of Saturday's game.

Jamal Smith

New 1st-degree murder charge for man accused in youth coach's killing

A grand jury indicted the suspect in connection with the shooting of Jay Boughton.

trick or treating halloween

COVID: Mayo Clinic's tips for staying safe while trick-or-treating

A layered approach, especially for those who aren't vaccinated, is recommended.

Walz

'My patience level is gone': Walz calls on lawmakers to help hospital strain

The governor said only legislators can enact some of the needed measures.

Related

Slowpoke law goes into effect on Minnesota roads August 1

Best start practicing moving over for vehicles moving faster in the left lane.

Boy's death could bring end to DWI snowmobile loophole

Currently a driving ban doesn't lead to a snowmobile ban.

Man arrested for DWI in Twin Cities twice within 7 hours

He was arrested for driving drunk in Plymouth and Eden Prairie.

Daniel Thomas House

Man arrested for 19th DWI; he was going the wrong way on I-35

The man has 11 drunk driving arrests in Minnesota and eight in Wisconsin.

Here are some of the new laws that come into effect today

Some 40 new laws passed in the previous legislative session became effective on Aug. 1.

Michael Maguire

Eagan mayor charged with DWI after getting stuck in snowbank

The four-term mayor was arrested for DWI on Jan. 11.

pexels-car-phone-hands-free

Gov. Walz signs 'hands free' cellphone bill into law

Fines for violating the law could cost drivers up to $275.