Snowmobiling is a very popular activity in Wisconsin. There are 200,000 registered snowmobiles in the state and, this winter alone, they are all expected to use the 25,000 miles of groomed trails in the state. As with any vehicle, there are rules for operation.
In Wisconsin, for example, it is illegal to operate a snowmobile under the influence of alcohol or drugs on any property that is open to the public. This generally means trails, routs, lakes and rivers, or corridors. If an individual is stopped, he or she is required to provide a sample of blood or of breath if an officer has probable cause to believe the driver is operating the snowmobile under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It is also part of the law that by using the public trails, an individual consents to giving this sample to the officer. Refusal, therefore, results in an additional charge.
While these laws may seem harsh, Wisconsin’s drunk snowmobiling accidents and fatalities are not going down. Many suppose that these rates are not decreasing in any state but this is not true. Michigan and Minnesota both have seen drastic reductions in the number of accidents and fatalities caused by drunken snowmobile drivers. This is due mainly to their harsher penalties. All three states have a fine of $600 that they impose on people that are caught snowmobiling drunk. The difference is that Minnesota and Michigan add points to a person’s driver’s license and Wisconsin doesn’t.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a snowmobile accident that involved a drunken snowmobile driver, contact the Milwaukee personal injury lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® at (414) 271-0900 to discuss your case and to schedule an initial consultation.