Snowmobiling is a hobby many Minnesotans enjoy and if the predictions are true for this winter, it should be a great year to get your sled on the trail.
As you’re out enjoying the camaraderie that so often goes along with riding the trails, remember drinking and sledding carries almost the identical charges to drinking and driving.
If you are caught driving a snowmobile while under the influence or over the limit, you may be charged with Snowmobiling while Impaired (SWI).
The consequences of an SWI offense are almost identical to the consequences of a DWI offense. In Minnesota, a first time violation is a misdemeanor that is punishable by up to 90 days in jail, and a $1000 fine. While a first-time violation will not result in loss of driving privileges, it will be noted on your driving record and result in a one-year loss of snowmobiling privileges.
As with a DWI offense, a SWI is enhanceable. Any of the following aggravating factors will result in a gross misdemeanor or felony charges:
- A prior DWI violation in the past 10 years
- A blood alcohol concentration of .16 or higher
- A child under age 16 on the snowmobile at the time of the offense
In addition, under certain circumstances a SWI conviction can result in loss of driving privileges and forfeiture of the snowmobile.
Minnesota also makes it a crime, under certain circumstances, to refuse to submit to chemical testing. Test refusal consequences can be as bad, or worse, than failing the test.
Have you been charged with an SWI in the state of Minnesota? Contact us today for Straight Talk and Honest Answers. Our first consultation is free. Contact us today. 612-333-7309.