While the terms DWI and DUI are well known, many people still mistakenly believe these offenses apply solely to the impaired operation of an automobile. But in fact, DWI/DUI applies to more than cars. You can be arrested for DWI/DUI while operating a boat, all-terrain vehicle, snowmobile or any other motorized vehicle, including a riding lawnmower.
According to Minnesota State Statute 169A.07, first-time offenders who are arrested for DWI/DUI will face consequences similar to those for automobile-related DWI/DUI.
So what are these consequences?
If you are convicted of SWI (snowmobiling while intoxicated) or BWI (boating while intoxicated) or a similar charge and it is your first offense, you will face criminal and civil consequences in line with a traditional DWI/DUI. You will be charged with a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $1,000 and up to 90 days in jail. You will not lose your driver's license but you will lose the right to use your snowmobile, boat or all-terrain vehicle for one year.
As with operating a motor vehicle, it is illegal to operate any of these other vehicles with a blood alcohol content level above .08.
The charges will also increase if aggravating factors are present at the time of the arrest. Aggravating factors include:
* A past DWI/DUI conviction or test refusal in the last 10 years
* A BAC of .20 or more and/or
* Traveling with a passenger under the age of 16 at the time of the offense.
These factors could turn a misdemeanor crime into a gross misdemeanor crime or even a felony. The increased severity of the crime may lead to more severe civil and criminal penalties including a heavier fine, longer jail sentence or the loss of your driver's license and plate impoundment.
If you are facing DWI charges, you need experienced legal counsel. Contact Attorney Eric J. Olson for vigorous defense and unrivaled results.