2011 Wisconsin Act 208 amends the Wisconsin statutes dealing with all-terrain vehicles (ATV) to include utility terrain vehicles (UTV). A UTV is defined as a motorized vehicle with a gross weight between 900 and 1,999 pounds and with seats that are designed not to be straddled, but rather sat in as bench or bucket seats. In 2010, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) began a program to allow local jurisdictions to permit UTVs to be operated on private land or public trails. This Act requires UTVs to follow many of the same safety and registration rules that are currently required for ATVs, such as posting trail passes in a visible place, registering UTVs for private and/or public use, and attaching reflective materials.
Additionally, the Act extends the prohibitions on operating a UTV under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances that currently apply to ATVs. Under the Act, no person may operate a UTV if they have a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or more, and no person may operate a UTV if there is a detectable amount of any restricted controlled substance. The Act also raises the age at which a person must have complete sobriety to operate an ATV or UTV from 19 to 21. Any operator of an ATV or UTV falls under the implied consent laws of the state, meaning that by operating an ATV or UTV in this state, the operator is presumed to consent to taking a test to determine his or her blood alcohol content if a law enforcement officer has probable cause to suspect that the operator is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.