For many Minnesotans, winter is the time to get out the snowmobile. However, many people don’t realize that it is illegal to mix snowmobiling and alcohol. Snowmobiling while intoxicated is a serious crime that can lead to major consequences. If you are up against SWI charges in Minnesota, you need an experienced attorney to help you.
Understanding Snowmobiling While Intoxicated Charges
In Minnesota, the same impaired driving laws that apply to operating a motor vehicle on the roads also apply to operating a snowmobile. If your blood alcohol level is .08 or above while you are snowmobiling, you can face criminal charges.
The penalties for an SWI conviction will depend on whether or not there are any aggravating factors present. Aggravating factors for SWI are the same as for DWI and include:
- Any prior impaired driving offense in the past 10 years;
- Blood alcohol level of .16or above; or
- Having a child under the age of 16 on the snowmobile at the time of the offense.
If none of these aggravating factors are present, than a snowmobiling while intoxicated charge is a misdemeanor that can result in:
- 90 days in jail;
- $1,000 in fines; and
- Loss of snowmobiling privileges for a year.
When there are aggravating factors present, the charge become a gross misdemeanor, and the penalties go up. You can face a year in prison, $3,000 fines, loss of license, forfeiture of snowmobile, and much more.
If you have been caught snowmobiling while under the influence of alcohol, you can find yourself exposed to some very serious consequences. Fortunately, you don’t have to fight your charges by yourself.
SWI Defense Lawyer
As soon as you are aware of an SWI charge against you, it’s important to contact a qualified defense lawyer. Many people make the mistake of thinking an SWI charge isn’t that serious. However, the longer you wait to contact a lawyer, the less likely the lawyer can secure the best evidence to defend you. We want to help you avoid a stiff sentence, including fines, jail time, and even the loss of your snowmobiling privileges.
With an experienced lawyer on your side, you may be able to get your SWI charges reduced, or even dropped. Instead of facing jail time, you may find yourself back on your snowmobiling and enjoying it responsibly.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
If you are charged with an SWI, you need the best attorneys on your side. At the Brown Law Offices, P.A., we have helped many clients overcome charges related to the impaired operation of a motor vehicle. Our attorneys work hard so you get the best possible result. Don’t let an SWI conviction have a major impact on your life. Call us today at 763-323-6555, or complete our online form for a free consultation.