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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wondering if anyone in Michigan has had the pleasure of receiving this "subjective" ticket? In late January, riding the lower, I got pulled off to the side of the trail by a DNR officer at a stop sign just south of Luzerne. This was after a long straight away that I chose to throttle up a little bit. When he initially stopped me I figured it was for a decibel test; I'm running a ceramic trail can that can get a little noisy at WOT. Anyways, he asked if I knew how fast I was going and I told him no I was paying attention to the trail; he clocked me at 83 mph (reasonable on a wide open straight away in my opinion). His partner took my info and went to his truck to write a ticket. I asked him what the speed limit was? He said unless it's a posted road that the speed limit is what they consider reasonable given the conditions (weather and traffic). I asked him what they've been deeming reasonable and he said 75-80 mph; so one guy and be going 78 and not get a ticket and someone going 75 could? No sense in "edit for bad language" these guys off so I kept my mouth shut. The officer said it wouldn't affect my license or insurance and it would most likely just be a fine, but is treated as a misdemeanor. I had a call with the prosecuting attorney today and he said he really couldn't offer me anything less than what I was charged with because there isn't a lesser charge. He also couldn't give me much direction as to what my sentencing would be from the judge should I plead guilty. Seems pretty stupid to pay an attorney to fight something this nominal, but technically the charge could carry small jail time, up to $500 fine, probation, etc. Has anyone had recent experience with this in Oscoda County?
 

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Geez, that's crazy. We ride that fast regularly on straight, wide trails. Hope I don't run across your guy lol.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That's the plan, but once again it seems stupid to waste the court and my time over something this benign! It'd be easier if they just said plead guilty and it's a $200 fine...
 

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I did not receive a ticket. I was going the speed limit but I saw 3 sleds ahead of me and on my way back I saw another sled pulled over outside Indian Lake 2 years ago where the speed limit is 25 MPH. That's in the lower Michigan not Upper. That was the only time I ever rode below the bridge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I got a ticket, but it doesn't have a fine, just states that it's a misdemeanor. If you're riding on a road that happens to be a designated trail then you're subject to the posted speed limit. If you're just on a designated trail then "technically" there isn't a speed limit, just what is deemed as reasonable. Once again, it's such a subjective situation with a lot of grey area.
 

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So you have to go to court to see what the fine is?

I'd like to hear a DNR officer say "75-80" is a reasonable speed. What's the difference between 80 and 90? Nothing.
 

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Actually I was just talking about this with a local DNR officer here in the Cadillac area. Very nice guy and he confirmed no speed limit and it is up to the officer's discretion. He would have to demonstrate why he felt it was unreasonable in the absence of a set law. Was it heavy traffic, were you passing sleds too closely, etc? Then, it is up to the judge to decide. No way would I let a misdemeanor ticket go without challenging it and I would not be too sure that it won't hit your driver's license. I know an operating while intoxicated will, so this may, but again, I am not sure. I would absolutely get an attorney and go to court.
 

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I got a ticket, but it doesn't have a fine, just states that it's a misdemeanor. If you're riding on a road that happens to be a designated trail then you're subject to the posted speed limit. If you're just on a designated trail then "technically" there isn't a speed limit, just what is deemed as reasonable. Once again, it's such a subjective situation with a lot of grey area.
Sorry this happened to you. I just want to say that if your riding a road that is part of a designated trail the maximum speed limit is 55 unless it posted. Your right about being on just being on a designated trial, there it no speed limit unless posted other than a speed save for the conditions of the trail. This like you said and I agree is a grey area. Good Luck
 

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Hard to justify getting an attorney for this ticket. They want a hefty retainer up front, then the cost of appearing in court on your behalf, plus all expenses incurred etc. Could be big bucks.
 

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I wouldn't call this a wide trail but it is straight and looks wide enough for two sleds to pass safely. But running at high speed on snow and ice is not like running 80 in a car on drive pavement.

Somebody hits a rock or a rut..... or drifts a little because their sled doesn't handle perfectly at high speeds... or is an idiot and takes their hand off the bar to signal the oncoming sled and can't control the sled with one hand at those speeds...... and something like this happens.

I could see where law enforcement determines a given speed for a certain section of trail, amount of traffic in the area, general conditions, etc. is greater than reasonoable at that specific place and time.

That being said..... I was up in the Western UP a few weeks ago and on very wide and straight trails I was running 80 - 85. I may have been lucky because it was below zero most of the week when we were riding so I suspect it was too cold for the DNR guys to be out.... LOL
 

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Just pay it. I got one also, not worth my time and effort to fight it.
No points, no problem.
Mine was written for excessive speed..
I don't agree with it, but what ever.
 

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The fine is no big deal, the misdemeanor could be.

The law has since been changed but I got one back in 2003 for failure to display registration and it prevented me from getting a cpl.
 

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I was riding with a neighbor a few weeks ago in UP. We said our goodbyes for the day as we left our last break along the trail heading home. Following the neighbor at a few hundred yards behind as he was running harder than I was down a rail grade. Two county deputies jumped out between us at a stop sign and they attempted to catch up to him. I wicked it up following the cops to see my neighbor get a ticket lol. I was running 95 mph. And couldn’t catch their snow dust. 5 miles later at next stop sign the cops were waiting for me with my neighbor nowhere to be found. The cops came up to me laughing said your buddy has faster sled than us do give him a message. We don’t care how fast he was riding as there are no speed limit in this trail but tell him to stop completely at stop signs. He was in the right side of trail the entire time and in control so no issue with the speed said the officers. They asked if my buddy had studs in his sled like I did. The officers were really cool and we bs for 20 minutes and left. With that being said the safe and reasonable is a judgement call and if it was me I’d go to court. Especially if you have pics of the conditions at time of ticket and running traction products. The officer may not show up in court for it anyways which will go in your favor. However I do have access to free legal advice with a lawyer that is a die hard snowmobiler so I would feel comfortable chasing ticket. So only you can make that decision.
 

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Just wondering if anyone in Michigan has had the pleasure of receiving this "subjective" ticket? In late January, riding the lower, I got pulled off to the side of the trail by a DNR officer at a stop sign just south of Luzerne. This was after a long straight away that I chose to throttle up a little bit. When he initially stopped me I figured it was for a decibel test; I'm running a ceramic trail can that can get a little noisy at WOT. Anyways, he asked if I knew how fast I was going and I told him no I was paying attention to the trail; he clocked me at 83 mph (reasonable on a wide open straight away in my opinion). His partner took my info and went to his truck to write a ticket. I asked him what the speed limit was? He said unless it's a posted road that the speed limit is what they consider reasonable given the conditions (weather and traffic). I asked him what they've been deeming reasonable and he said 75-80 mph; so one guy and be going 78 and not get a ticket and someone going 75 could? No sense in "edit for bad language" these guys off so I kept my mouth shut. The officer said it wouldn't affect my license or insurance and it would most likely just be a fine, but is treated as a misdemeanor. I had a call with the prosecuting attorney today and he said he really couldn't offer me anything less than what I was charged with because there isn't a lesser charge. He also couldn't give me much direction as to what my sentencing would be from the judge should I plead guilty. Seems pretty stupid to pay an attorney to fight something this nominal, but technically the charge could carry small jail time, up to $500 fine, probation, etc. Has anyone had recent experience with this in Oscoda County?
Just a thought, with your can you drew attention to yourself. Most of the time its attention that annoys everyone around you - this time it was attention that annoyed the guy with the coupon book.

Others may have a different opinion, and I am not preaching on the speed part. I too have occasionally pushed the 55 limit a little.
 

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I am really surprised a DNR officer in Michigan would say "75-80" is "a reasonable" speed on a marked snowmobile trail in the lower peninsula. It's one thing to be in a car or truck doing 75 on the interstate, but quite another doing 83 down a trail that is generally no wider than a single lane of the interstate with no shoulder.

Personally, I just assume I'm liable for a ticket on my sled if I'm doing 65 or above (depending on where I'm at).

I would be interested to know what is written under the reason/remarks for the ticket? Normally a ticket will say the speed the violator was observed doing and what the speed limit is.

Sounds like yours doesn't?

If this is a misdemeanor ticket, does it say what MCL statute was violated?

You can do a couple of things. Pony up and admit your guilt to the court and apologize for your transgression in the hopes the judge will consider your genuine contrition when assessing the fine.

Or try and fight it in the hope the DNR officer won't show up to the court date, at which point the case should be dismissed. I wouldn't bet on that though...
 
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