DWI laws in Minnesota do not only apply to motorists on Minnesota’s highways. DWI is also not limited to the public roads. If you are drinking and are charged with ATV While Intoxicated (AWI), Snowmobiling While Intoxicated (SWI), or Boating While Intoxicated (BWI), then you are subject to the same penalties as the standard DWI. Minnesota’s legislature believes that you are endangering your life and the lives of others any time you get behind the wheel of any vehicle while intoxicated.
Minnesota law states that the operation of any kind of off-road recreational vehicle can be charged with DWI if their blood alcohol content is over .08, which is the same legal limit as those operating a motor vehicle under the influence. ATV while intoxicated is no exception, as this is an off-road recreational vehicle in which lives can be put at risk.
For first-time offenders, Minnesota Law states that the defendant can be charged with a second-degree, third-degree, or fourth-degree driving while impaired. If you are charged with any of these, you need the assistance of a Minnesota DWI lawyer as soon as possible so the charges can be addressed. The penalties if convicted can be loss of ATV privileges, jail time, fines, and more. Minnesota Statute § 84.91. subd.1of the Minnesota Impaired Driving Code states that the owner of an ATV (or snowmobile) shall not authorize its operation if it is believed the operator is under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance. If an individual is charged with AWI (or SWI), then they are subject to a number of penalties that will depend upon the aggravating factors present at the time of arrest.
A charge of operating a snowmobile while intoxicated can result in a misdemeanor or felony DWI charge. Individuals convicted of misdemeanor SWI, which is also applicable in AWI charges, will pay a $1,000 fine, plus any applicable surcharges. A misdemeanor conviction may also result in loss of privileges to operate a snowmobile and jail time.
Gross misdemeanor convictions include the same penalties as a misdemeanor, but the fine may be up to $3,000 and the mandatory jail sentence may be longer. The defendant may also lose their motor vehicle license, plate-impoundment of all motor vehicles owned by the defendant, and snowmobile forfeiture. These are the penalties if one or more of the following aggravating factors are present: has more than one prior DWI conviction, has a child under 16 years of age riding on the snowmobile with them, or has a blood alcohol content of .20 or more.
If the defendant has a prior felony conviction or 3 or more DWI convictions within the preceding 10 years, a conviction can result in up to 7 years in prison, longer license revocation, and/or fines of up to $14,000.
The aggravating factors with BWI are quite similar to SWI. Overall, the penalties of AWI, SWI, and BWI are very much the same. In the case of BWI, you can be charged with the offense if the alleged offense occurs anywhere within Minnesota boundary waters. The moment you are charged, you do need to contact your Minnesota DWI attorney as soon as possible so a solid defense can be created for you. There are many types of defense strategies that can be used in your case, such as identifying violations to your constitutional rights and revealing improper arrest procedures.
Contact Minnesota DWI Lawyer F. T. Sessoms:
When you’ve been charged with AWI, SWI, or BWI, you need an attorney experienced in obtaining the best possible results for clients charged with DWI. Minnesota DWI Lawyer F.T. Sessoms has that experience and wants to help you. To find out more, call 612-344-1505 today.