FISH AND GAME
215-C:34 Penalties and Owner/Operator Responsibilities.
I. (a) Unless otherwise provided, any person who violates this chapter or any rule relating thereto shall be guilty of a violation. In addition thereto, the operator or owner or both of any snowmobile shall be responsible and held accountable:
(1) To the owner of any lands where trees, shrubs, roads, or other property have been damaged as a result of travel over the owner's premises by such vehicles.
(2) For any damage incurred or for violations of this chapter committed by a person under the age of 18.
(b) The executive director may revoke, after a hearing, the registration of any snowmobile and OHRV registered in the name of any person who violates this chapter or any rule relating thereto.
II. Any person who, while operating or in charge of a snowmobile, shall refuse when requested by a police officer or person authorized to make criminal arrests to give his or her name and address or the name and address of the owner of such snowmobile or who shall give a false name and address, or who shall refuse or neglect to stop when signaled to stop by any police officer or any person authorized to make criminal arrests who is in uniform or who displays his or her badge conspicuously on the outside of his or her outer coat or garment, or who refuses on demand of such officer or person to produce his or her license to operate such vehicle or his or her certificate of registration, or to permit such officer or person to take the license or certificate in hand for the purpose of examination, or who refuses on demand of such officer or person to sign his or her name in the presence of such officer, or who refuses to surrender to the executive director or his or her duly authorized representative any license, registration certificate or number decal upon demand after suspension or revocation of the same, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
III. If any person shall mischievously take, drive, ride, or use any snowmobile, without the consent of the owner or person having control thereof, but not with the intent to steal the same, he or she shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
IV. (a) Notwithstanding any other provisions of law to the contrary, any snowmobile, operated by a minor in violation of any provision of this chapter or of any motor vehicle law, may be seized by a law enforcement officer and retained by such officer for up to a 24-hour period or until released to the owner upon payment of the cost of such seizure and retention.
(b) Notwithstanding RSA 169-B and RSA 169-D, any minor who violates a provision of this chapter shall not be considered a delinquent or a child in need of services. Any minor who violates a provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation and may be punished by a fine for each offense, may have his or her snowmobile and OHRV safety training certification suspended for up to 6 months, and may be required to complete community service or to complete additional snowmobile safety training.
V. A police officer may cause the removal and storage of a snowmobile if he or she has reason to believe any of the following:
(a) The snowmobile has been left unattended on any public property for a period of greater than 48 hours.
(b) The owner or legal occupant of private property has complained that a snowmobile has been abandoned on said private property for a period of greater than 48 hours.
(c) The snowmobile is reported stolen, is apparently abandoned, is without proper registration, or is apparently unsafe to be driven.
(d) The owner or custodian of the snowmobile is under arrest or otherwise incapacitated.
(e) The snowmobile has been used in connection with a criminal offense.
(f) The use of the snowmobile has resulted in damage to public or private property.
VI. No custodian or police officer shall be liable for damages to a snowmobile while it is in his or her custody under paragraph V, provided he or she exercises due care.
VIII. In addition to any other penalty imposed, any person who is convicted of violating any of the following statutes, and who has not already successfully completed a snowmobile training program, shall complete a snowmobile training program, at that person's own expense, within 6 months of conviction. Any person who fails to successfully complete the snowmobile training program within 6 months may not legally register or reregister any snowmobile or OHRV until such time as the snowmobile training program is successfully completed:
(c) Disobeying any person authorized to enforce the provisions of this chapter, as provided in RSA 215-C:32, by acting in a manner prohibited by paragraph II or any other provision of law.
(d) RSA 265-A:2, I and RSA 265-A:3, relative to operating a snowmobile while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
(e) RSA 265-A:14, relative to refusal of consent.
(f) RSA 215-C:8, IV, relative to endangerment of any person or damage to any property.
(g) RSA 215-C:49, XII, relative to failure to yield right of way.
(h) RSA 215-C:7, relative to snowmobile operation on open water.
IX. In addition to any other penalty or obligation imposed, the owner of any lands which have been damaged in violation of this chapter may bring an action to recover such damages, in the superior court for the county in which the lands are located, against any person who is responsible and accountable under subparagraph I(a). In bringing such action, the owner shall be entitled to:
(a) The cost of clean-up and restoration to the prior condition of the lands;
(b) Multiple damages of up to 3 times actual damages, based upon the level of culpability of the conduct, as determined by the trier of fact; and
(c) Reasonable attorney's fees.
Source. 2005, 210:1. 2006, 90:7-9. 2009, 176:2, 3. 2010, 66:1, II, eff. Jan. 1, 2011. 2013, 148:2, II, eff. July 1, 2013. 2016, 278:5-7, eff. Jan. 1, 2017.