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Safety Information

Operating Under the Influence

Prohibition. Prohibitions against operating under the influence are as follows:

A person may not operate or attempt to operate a recreational vehicle:

  • While under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs or a combination of liquor and drugs;
  • If 21 years of age or older, while having 0.08% or more by weight of alcohol in that person’s blood; or
  • If less than 21 years of age, while having any amount of alcohol in the blood.

Penalties. A person who violates this section commits a Class D crime. In determining an appropriate sentence, refusal to submit to a chemical test must in every case be an aggravating factor. In the following cases the following minimum penalties apply.

A. In the case of a person having no previous convictions of a violation of subsection 1-A within the previous 6-year period, the fine may not be less than $400. If that person was adjudicated within the previous 6-year period for failure to comply with the duty to submit to and complete a blood-alcohol test under section 10702, subsection 1, the fine may not be less than $500. A conviction under this paragraph must include a period of incarceration of not less than 48 hours, none of which may be suspended, when the person:

  • Was tested as having a blood-alcohol level of 0.15% or more;
  • Failed or refused to stop upon request or signal of an officer in uniform, pursuant to section 6953 or 10651, during the operation that resulted in prosecution for operating under the influence or with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08% or more; or
  • Failed to submit to a chemical test to determine that person’s blood-alcohol level or drug concentration, requested by a law enforcement officer on the occasion that resulted in the conviction.

Administering chemical tests; test results; evidence; reporting; immunity

Blood or breath test. If the law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe a person hunted wild animals or wild birds or operated or attempted to operate a watercraft, snowmobile, or ATV while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, then the officer shall inform the person that a breath test will be administered, unless, in the determination of the officer, it is unreasonable for a breath test to be administered, in which case a blood test must be administered. When a blood test is required, the test may be administered by a physician of the accused’s choice, at the request of the accused and if reasonably available. The law enforcement officer may determine which type of breath test, as described in subsection 5 will be administered. (For more detailed information see Title 12, chapter 911, subsection 10703.)

Recreational Safety Division

8 Federal Street

Augusta, Maine 04330


Mailing Address: 41 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0041

Do you need to take a safety course to operate an ATV? Maine law requires anyone under 16 years of age to complete a course prior to operating on land other than that owned or leased by their parent or guardian or on which they live. These courses are made available in your area by volunteer instructors certified by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Pre-registration is requested and/or required. Courses will include 6 hours of instruction. Sponsors include school districts, sports clubs, civic groups, and others. Courses will be scheduled based on instructor availability.

ATV Safety Information

If you have a youngster who is about to ride an ATV, there are special considerations that you should keep in mind. Although a child may be the recommended age to ride a particular size ATV, not all youngsters have the strength, skills, or judgment needed to operate an ATV. You should supervise your youngster’s operation of the ATV at all times, and should permit continued use only if you determine that your youngster has the ability and judgment to operate the ATV safely. You should also read Parents, Youngsters and ATVs, available from ASI.

For more information about ATV Safety, call the Consumer Product Safety Commission at 1-800-638-2772 or the ATV Distributors’ Safety Hotline at 1-800-852-5344.

Remember that riders under 16 years of age should be supervised by an adult. In addition, follow the ATV Model Size/Minimum Age information listed below. Do not ride an ATV that is not recommended for your age group.

ATV Model Size Minimum Age

Under 70cc 6 years and older

70 – 90cc 12 years and older

Over 90cc 16 years and older

Be Cautious… ATVs are not toys. Serious injury can result from improper use of ATVs, but with preparation and practice, you can safely develop and expand your riding skills. Riding ATVs can be an enjoyable form of outdoor recreation when done properly.

In addition to the information provided in this booklet, it is important to carefully read and follow the instructions and warnings contained in the ATV owner’s manual and labels. ATVs handle differently from other vehicles, such as motorcycles and cars. Proper instruction and practice are important. The ATV Rider Course, a half-day hands-on training program, is available nationwide. Anyone who purchased a new ATV after December 30, 1986, and everyone in the purchaser’s immediate family who is in the recommended age group for the ATV purchased, is entitled to take a training course at no additional charge. Others can take the training course for a small fee. Individuals who purchased a new ATV after April 28,1988, will be entitled to a $50.00 incentive check upon completion of the course. Limit one incentive per ATV purchased. Ask an authorized ATV dealer for the details or call 1-800-887-2887 for training information. We recommend you take advantage of the free training program, and perform the exercises in this booklet.

The ATV Safety Institute is a division of the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America, a national nonprofit association founded by the major U.S. distributors of all-terrain vehicles. Supporting members are:

  • American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
  • Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A.
  • American Suzuki Motor Corporation
  • Kawasaki Motors Corporation, U.S.A.
  • Arctic Cat, Inc.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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