Snowmobile Driver Arrested for DWI in
By: Mary Ann Pekara
In the state of Minnesota, there are more than 20,000 miles of snowmobile trails. During the
winter season, these trails are full of snowmobilers looking for fun.
KBJR News 2
reminds snowmobile riders that along with the thrills, there are also dangers
out on the snowmobile trails. Drivers
can significantly lessen their chances of accidents and injuries by slowing
down, wearing a helmet and obeying state laws.
Many of the same rules that apply to driving a car also
apply to snowmobiles. The speed limit
for snowmobiles is 50 mph and drivers must not operate a snowmobile,
or any other vehicle, while intoxicated.
Snowmobile drivers who are arrested for DWI in Minnesota
risk having the arrest and conviction put on their driver's licenses. They also face the same DUI penalties
as if they were driving a car while intoxicated.
The Mille Lacs County Times recently reported that a local snowmobile
driver was arrested for DWI after a patrol officer was notified around
11 p.m. that a snowmobile was stranded on a trail. When the officer responded, he reportedly
found Michael DeCoursey, 27, on a moving snowmobile with the headlight on. As the officer watched, DeCoursey allegedly
turned the headlight off and approached the police vehicle on the
snowmobile. The officer reported that DeCoursey then got off the snowmobile and approached the officer on foot.
According to the incident report, the officer smelled a strong odor of alcohol coming from
DeCoursey, noticed that his eyes were red and watery, and that he was unsteady
on his feet. DeCoursey reportedly
slurred his speech as he explained to the officer that his snowmobile had a
spark plug problem.
As the officer was running a check on DeCoursey's driver's
license, a man arrived and informed the officer that there was a complaint
about the suspect driving the snowmobile in someone's yard.
DeCoursey was given, and failed, field
sobriety tests. He agreed to take a breath
test. However, while the officer
waited for a sheriff's deputy to arrive with the portable breath test machine,
DeCoursey reportedly told the officer that he planned to run and that the
officer would not be able to catch him.
Eventually a breath test was administered, showing that
DeCoursey had a blood
alcohol content of .223 percent. As
an officer attempted to place him under arrest, DeCoursey allegedly said
"no," put his hands in his pockets and started backing away from the
The officers put DeCoursey on the ground and attempted to handcuff
him and he resisted. A deputy warned
DeCoursey to cooperate or the Taser would be used. DeCoursey still struggled and the deputy used
the Taser to subdue him. Afterwards,
DeCoursey commented that the Taser's batteries were weak and got up and started
to run. After a struggle, during which
DeCoursey allegedly attempted to hit an officer, he was finally handcuffed and
placed in a squad car.
DeCoursey was taken to the hospital and then to jail. He was charged with obstructing the legal
process, two counts of fourth degree DWI and fleeing a
Law enforcement officials say that drivers should realize
that driving a snowmobile, boat or other vehicle while intoxicated is
dangerous and against the law. DUI or DWI can be charged for anyone found violating these laws on any type of vehicle. During
2008, nine people in Minnesota died from injuries sustained in snowmobile
accidents. Four of those crashes