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Free ORV weekend came and went but DUI laws were always the same

On the first weekend in June, residents across Michigan or those simply visiting the state could take to the public trails and routes on their off-road vehicles without having to first obtain the proper permit or license. Once every year this weekend occurs, and is appropriately named the free Off-Road Vehicle weekend.

Prior to the weekend, Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer John Wenzel reminded people that a free weekend doesn’t mean that safety should get put on the back burner. Off-road vehicles may be used often for recreational purposes, but they are still powerful motorized vehicles that can lead to serious injuries.

Wenzel asked that individuals would take the helmet laws that are in place seriously, take care not to drive too quickly and ensure that the vehicles were operated in a safe and reasonable manner to avoid injuries.

Whether you have a permit or license to ride an off-road vehicle or not, whether it is a free weekend or not, the same traffic rules still apply.

This means that even on the free weekend those who were under the age of 16 were still required to obtain a safety certificate to operative a vehicle. It also means that those who were riding a recreational vehicle after consuming alcohol could still face drunk driving charges just as they would in any motor vehicle.

DUI charges for operating any vehicle can lead to the loss of a driver’s license, fines and even jail time depending on the circumstances. Those that are charged with operating an ORV while under the influence also face these penalties and should consult with a defense attorney as well.

Source: UpperMichiganSource.com, “Keeping safe during free ORV weekend,” Jessica Stevenson, June 3, 2014

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