DNR to do random boat checksPublished 10:55am Friday, July 13, 2012
While Minnesota does not allow random traffic stops for DWIs, the Minn. Department of Natural Resources recently received the authority to randomly stop vehicles hauling boats and trailers to check for compliance with aquatic invasive species regulations.
In addition to the new policy regarding random traffic stops, July 1 marked the date that all AIS related citations were doubled. Violations will now result in fines ranging from $100 to $500.
“People who tow boats should know that they are subject to checks,” said Otter Tail County attorney David Hauser.
If people transport boats and trailers properly, they don’t have to worry about getting in trouble, he said.
Some common errors boaters make are forgetting to pull the plug after leaving an access, failing to drain live wells and transporting full bait buckets, two DNR intern AIS inspectors said.
“I think random checks are a valuable law enforcement tool,” Hauser said. “We use them with tobacco sales and alcohol sales. Most states allow some random checks in danger areas for DWIs, but Minnesota does not. It’s not the solo answer, but it’s part of a package of things (to help slow the spread of AIS).”
Hauser said he doesn’t know if any citations have been given out yet or where the DNR plans to conduct these random checks except that they will likely be in high boat towing traffic areas.