After another round of fresh snow this week, snowmobile trail conditions are amazing.  The Minnesota DNR encourages everyone to enjoy them, but don't hit the trails intoxicated.

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officers expect the biggest number of riders in years to hit the state’s 22,000 miles of snowmobile trails.  However mixing alcohol and snowmobiling can devastate your life and lives of others.

According to the DNR, alcohol is a factor in more than 70 percent of snowmobile-related fatalities in Minnesota.  Sadly, as the DNR reminds us with the following story, it isn't just those on snowmobiles that can be hurt:

Earlier this month, Eric Coleman was sentenced to 12.5 years in prison for a tragic incident last year when the snowmobile he was driving struck and killed 8-year-old Alan Geisenkoetter Junior.  Coleman, who was drunk and whose driver’s license was revoked when he crashed into the boy, had multiple previous DWIs in a motor vehicle. The incident prompted state lawmakers to close loopholes in the state’s DWI law.

That incident prompted the passing of Little Alan’s Law, which went into effect August 1, 2018.  It means people convicted of driving while intoxicated – regardless of the vehicle they’re driving – lose their driver’s license and are prohibited from operating motor vehicles, including all-terrain vehicles, motorboats and snowmobiles. Before the law change, people convicted of DWI in a highway-licensed vehicle still could legally operate ATVs, motorboats and snowmobiles.

The DNR predicts that Little Alan’s Law will affect more than 2,000 people each month in Minnesota.

Ultimately, have a great time out on the trails, but save the drinking for when all the driving is completely done for the day.

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